Microsoft rebrands Visual Studio Online as 'Codespaces'; plans to lower pricing

Visual Studio Online is being rechristened as Visual Studio Codespaces. And pricing cuts are coming for all tiers as of mid-May.

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Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft is on a rebranding roll these days. The latest product to get the treatment is Visual Studio Online, which is now going to be known as Visual Studio Codespaces.

In a blog post on April 30, Microsoft officials said the reason for the rebranding is because they wanted to be clear that the product is much more than just "an editor in the browser." The new tagline: Codespaces "are simply the most productive place to code."

The rebranding will begin showing up "in the coming weeks and months."

Microsoft made the public preview of Visual Studio Online in November 2019. At that time, officials stressed that its online code editor and companion to Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code could be used for managed development for anything from long-term projects to short term tasks.

(An aside: Visual Studio Online originally was the name of Microsoft's DevOps hub, which ultimately was renamed to Azure DevOps.)

Microsoft also is lowering its prices for Codespaces, effective May 19, which is the kick-off of its virtual Build 2020 conference.

The new pricing will reduce the price of a Basic (2 cores, 4 GB of RAM) instance type for those dabbling with remote development for the first time. Basic instances are available now for .08 per hour. Standard (4 cores, 8 GB of RAM) Linux instance type from approximately .45 per hour today to .17 per hour as of mid-March. Premium (8 cores, 16 GB of RAM) will go from .87 to .34. Codespaces also incur a storage charge of .0088 an hour for a 64 GB SSD, which can be billed down to the second.

Developers with self-hosted environments can register any machine to Codespaces and connect it from VS Code or the browser-based editor for free.