At Build 2022, one of the most interesting announcements was Microsoft Dev Box, a managed service expansion for Azure Virtual Desktop to provide cloud-based virtual workstations for developers. Today, Microsoft says that Dev Box is now available in public preview.
In a blog post, Microsoft principal group program manager Anthony Cangialosi says IT companies are often forced to choose between providing flexibility for developers and maintaining productivity when trying to keep workstations secure.
“Supply chain challenges have led to developers waiting weeks or months to get the hardware they need, forcing them to use aging hardware or unsecured personal devices. At the same time, hybrid work has forced IT to open access to corporate and on-premises resources to developers around the world.”
Microsoft Dev Box provides developers with a way to create a virtual machine that is configured automatically through the company's cloud infrastructure. This can be done without needing to set up workstations.
With Dev Box, developers can configure their team members and images to allow instant coding on virtual machines. In its original announcement blog post, Microsoft provides the following details:
“Microsoft Dev Box ensures developers always have the right tools and resources based on project, task, and even role. When building Dev Boxes, dev teams select from a range of SKUs to define the right level of compute for each project and instantly scale up aging physical hardware. Thanks to Azure Active Directory integration, teams can rapidly onboard new team members by assigning them to Azure Active Directory groups that grant access to the Dev Boxes they need for their projects.
Microsoft wants developers to tap into Microsoft Dev Box to put more focus on writing code instead of having to deal with workstation security and management. Each Dev Box is preconfigured for the developer's workloads, including settings and tools the dev needs. You can check it out for yourself via the public preview in the Microsoft Azure portal.
Tip of the day: For the most part, Windows apps are stable, but they can still be still thrown out of whack by updates or configuration issues. Many boot their PC to find their Microsoft Store isn't working or their Windows apps aren't opening. Luckily Windows 11 and Windows 10 have an automatic repair feature for apps that can resolve such issues.