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Last year, during the Ignite 2019 conference, Microsoft announced the public preview of Visual Studio Codespaces which allowed developers to code from anywhere using a browser and the internet. Now the company has decided to retire it and migrate all its users to GitHub Codespaces.


According to the Microsoft announcement, the service is being retired in February 2021. If you are an existing Visual Studio Codespaces user, you can start your transition to GitHub Codespaces now. To know more about the timeline of the transition, continue reading further.


Visual Studio Codespaces is being retired! Users are being migrated to GitHub Codespaces


Microsoft, in a blog post, announced that they are retiring the Visual Studio Codespaces in February 2021. For the current users who are using the Visual Studio Codespaces in public preview, Microsoft is encouraging them to migrate to GitHub Codespaces.


Since the GitHub Codespaces is currently in a limited public beta, Microsoft will let you in as soon as possible. When you log in to the Visual Studio Codespaces next time, it will ask you to provide your preferred GitHub account for the migration.


Azure subscription owners with a Visual Studio Codespaces plan will receive an email to their inbox, requesting the preferred GitHub account for this transition.


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In a question about the reason for such movement, Microsoft said:

During the preview we've learned that transitioning from a repository to a codespace is the most critical piece of your workflow and the vast majority of you preferred a richly integrated, native, one-click experience. Since GitHub is the home of 50M developers, it made sense to partner with them to address this feedback.
We believe that by consolidating the current Codespaces experiences into one, we can eliminate confusion, simplify the experience for everyone, and make more rapid progress to address customer feedback.


Microsoft shared a timeline detailing the plan of the company to retire Visual Studio Codespaces:

  • September 4, 2020 – Current users can begin transitioning to the GitHub private beta.
  • November 20, 2020 – Creation of new plans and codespaces will be disabled, although existing codespaces may continue to be used. New users will only be able to sign up for Codespaces on GitHub.
  • February 17, 2021 – The Visual Studio Codespaces portal will be retired. All plans and codespaces remaining in the service will be deleted.


The Redmond giant told that the company is currently evaluating the features that should be migrated to GitHub under General Availability (GA). The new users are being encouraged to request access to the GitHub Codespaces limited public beta.



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