Microsoft revamps cloud developer offering as Visual Studio Online

Microsoft has launched a new offering for developers to work in the cloud with Visual Studio Online designed to assist web and application developers.

The new suite replaces the Team Foundation Service that was originally in place and adds a number of new services to complement what was there in the first place.

“Visual Studio Online is a set of services that run in the cloud on Windows Azure," Microsoft developer division corporate VP "Soma" Somasegar told The Register in a briefing. "They work hand in hand with Visual Studio to both enable you as a team to do agile development and for you to be able to deliver your applications in an agile way."

Visual Studio Online builds on the hosted source code version control by adding a Hosted Build Service that lets developers compile and link software in the cloud with 60 minutes build time per month for free and time priced at $0.05 for anything extra.

“Monaco” is one of the new features bundled into the Visual Studio Online package, which is a web-based code-editing environment that gives developers the chance to change an HTML, CSS, and JavaScript source from any browser.

Another new feature is the Elastic Load Test Service that uses Windows Azure’s ability to quickly spin up virtual machines to mimic user load on online applications. Developers looking to use this need a Visual Studio Ultimate subscription that gives 15,000 minutes of time per month for free and each minute after that costing $0.002.

Application Insights, the last of the new features, compiles live telemetry data concerning online applications such as usage, performance, exception, and crash data. This is then fed back to developers in a form that can be used regardless of the language the application is written in.

Microsoft offers a wide variety of subscription options ranging from Basic to Professional and Advanced with each one catering to a different size of team. From now “until further notice” Microsoft is offering the Visual Studio Online service at 50 per cent off with it giving customers 30 days notice when prices go up once again.