GitHub is kicking off a broader rollout of its browser-based Codespaces coding environment by extending it to GitHub Team and Enterprise (cloud) plans. The Microsoft-owned company also announced it has internally transitioned from a “MacOS model” to Codespaces, which is now the default development environment for GitHub.com.
GitHub debuted Codespaces last May as a cloud-hosted development environment with all the usual GitHub features. It’s basically powered by Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code, which has been available as a web-based editor since 2019 and which was rebranded as Visual Studio Codespaces last year. In September, Microsoft also confirmed it was consolidating Visual Studio Codespaces into GitHub Codespaces.
Local to cloud
Codespaces is part of a larger trend in the coding world, with a growing number of platforms ditching local development environments for the speedier, more collaboration-friendly cloud. Gitpod, for example, is a browser-based open source development environment that recently raised $13 million, while Replit recently secured $20 million for what has been touted as Google Docs for code. Elsewhere, CodeSandbox, which enables developers to create a web app development sandbox in the browser, also secured venture capital backing.
Taking coding environments to the cloud makes it easier for developers to join and collaborate on a project and begin coding with minimal configuration.
GitHub’s Codespaces was initially launched in “limited public beta” for individual users, and the company has confirmed that this restricted beta will continue for now alongside the broader expansion into the enterprise. Today’s news means all businesses on the Team or Enterprise (not including self-hosted) plans can proactively enable Codespaces in their GitHub settings, and they can now use Codespaces in all their private repositories.