Microsoft is preparing to release a new cloud-based workstation service for developers, dubbed Microsoft Dev Box.
The new managed service will allow developers to create a pre-configured machine in the cloud, without the need to set up a physical workstation.
The new service has been in private preview since May 24, but is now widely available in public preview.
Microsoft Dev Box
Microsoft Dev Box supports any developer IDE, SDK, or tool that runs on Windows, and allows developers to target any development workload that can be built on Windows, including desktop, mobile, IoT and web applications.
Further, Microsoft Dev Box allows users to build cross-platform apps using Windows Subsystem for Linux and Windows Subsystem for Android. And developers can also use remote access virtual desktop tools to run dev boxes from devices running non-Windows operating systems such as macOS, Android, iOS or a web browser.
Customers have the option to choose from 4 vCPU / 16GB to 32 vCPU / 128GB SKUs, depending on the size of the applications they are working with.
Using Azure Active Directory groups, IT admins also can grant access to sensitive source code and customer data on a project-by-project basis, which Microsoft claims will eliminate the need to ship hardware to short-term contractors and help keep development more secure.
Microsoft hasn't yet indicated when the tool is set to hit general availability or how much it will ultimately cost.
However, during the current trial period, organizations will get the first 15 hours of the 8vCPU and 32 GB Memory SKU for free every month, along with the first 365 hours of the Storage SSD 512 GB SKU.
Beyond that, Microsoft says organizations pay only for what they use with a consumption-based pricing model.