During Microsoft’s Build 2022 developers conference, the company first announced Dev Box. In very basic terms, it was a way to give developers access to workstations in the cloud to help build apps. It later launched a public preview of Dev Box in August of that year.
Today, Microsoft announced that Dev Box has entered general availability. In a blog post, the company stated that the long public preview testing period allowed Microsoft to make sure it was ready for its enterprise customers. It stated:
In this case, that meant stress-testing Dev Box against products with repos that are hundreds of gigabytes large. This has been a challenging but useful experience, and our learnings have helped us speed up the path to general availability. Already, there are more than 10,000 engineers using Dev Box at Microsoft, and we have several customers using Dev Box in production environments today.
While Microsoft initially planned to offer Dev Box at a consumption price model, with charges only when it was running, some developers wanted to have a monthly price model so it could keep using Dev Box all the time. Microsoft stated:
To accommodate different use cases, we’ve introduced a predictable monthly price for full-time Dev Box usage while keeping consumption-based, pay-as-you-go pricing that charges up to a monthly price cap. This model strikes a balance between the extremes of full consumption or subscription-only pricing, ensuring devs can optimize their spend for both full-time and part-time use cases.
During this year’s Build event in May, the company announced some new features for Dev Box. These included adding a 2TB storage option alongside its 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB options. It also added a way to hibernate 8-core and 16-core vCPUs. It also announced some new features to boost performance while using Visual Studio in Dev Box. These included access to pre-built Visual Studio 2019 and 2022 images.