"Bringing VS Code to the browser is the realization of the original vision for the product," Microsoft said in a blog post. "It is also the start of a completely new one. An ephemeral editor that is available to anyone with a browser and an internet connection is the foundation for a future where we can truly edit anything from anywhere."
Or, as Mike Melanson describes it in his "This Week in Programming" column, "Microsoft continued its march toward developer dominance this week with the launch of Visual Studio Code for the Web, a lightweight version of the company's highly popular (mostly) open source code editor..."
Caveats aside, VS Code for the Web does, indeed, offer a lightweight, available-anywhere code editor for things like your tablet, your Chromebook, and heck, even your XBOX...
While companies like Amazon and Google seem to be sitting idly by in this arena, Microsoft is not the only company focused on providing remote developer experiences. The Eclipse Foundation, for example, last year offered what it said was "a true open source alternative to Visual Studio Code" with Eclipse Theia, and Eclipse Foundation executive director Mike Milinkovich said he expects this to be just the beginning. "We have been saying for years that the future of developer tools is the browser. Developers already use their browsers for the vast majority of their day-to-day tasks, with code editing being amongst the last to move," Milinkovich wrote in an email. "Microsoft's recent vscode.dev announcement is a recognition of this trend. I expect that every serious cloud vendor will be following suit over the next few quarters."
GitPod, meanwhile, has been hard at work in this very same arena, with its own launch just last month of the open source OpenVSCode Server, which also lets developers run upstream Visual Studio Code in the browser.
Gitpod co-founder Johannes Landgraf calls it "yet another validation that we reached a tipping point of how and where we develop software" — but also more. "Think orchestration and provisioning of compute, operating system, language servers and all other tools you require for professional software development in the cloud."
Melanson's column also argues VS Code for the Web is meant to entice geeks further into the Microsoft development universe. "The next thing you know, you've spent $100 on other things...like GitHub Codespaces, which is, after all, pretty much the same exact thing, except it provides all those back-end services and, more importantly for Microsoft, is not free to use. And more important still, once you've got all those developers fully hooked on VS Code, Codespaces, GitHub, and the rest of it, Azure isn't too far down the line now, is it?"
Read more of this story at Slashdot.