Microsoft is offering a public preview of Visual Studio Online, which provides online development environments in the company’s Azure cloud.

The managed, on-demand environments can be used for long-term projects, for prototyping new features, or for ad hoc tasks like reviewing pull requests.

Developers can access Visual Studio Online via a web browser, via Visual Studio Code, or via Visual Studio 2019, which is now available in a private, preview mode for use with Visual Studio Online.

Access from Visual Studio Code requires an extension.

Visual Studio Online sets up parts of a development environment including source code, runtimes, linters, debuggers, and extensions.

With the cloud-based tool, Microsoft is responding to trends including distributed teams, remote development, developers working across codebases, and increased computational and data workloads, such as with machine learning and big data.

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