GitHub Copilot, an AI-powered coding assistant that launched in preview last year, will become generally available for all developers this summer. Microsoft has announced that the service will be free for Build 2022 attendees, students, and verified open-source contributors.
GitHub Copilot is a pair programming tool developed by Microsoft-owned GitHub in collaboration with OpenAI. The feature helps users by analyzing the context of the file being edited to suggest lines or entire functions within development environments such as Visual Studio.
Copilot is powered by the OpenAI Codex model that is trained on natural language and billions of lines of public source code, including GitHub repositories. The intelligent tool learns over time from the existing code, docstrings, comments, and function names to provide more accurate suggestions. The GitHub Copilot is available as an extension for JetBrains IDEs, Visual Studio Code, Neovim, as well as GitHub Codespaces.
According to Microsoft, GitHub Copilot is primarily designed for experienced programmers, but new developers can also benefit from it. The tool helps to minimize the time and effort spent on finding solutions related to coding problems on the web.
Microsoft has announced that it is working on two new solutions. Copilot Explain is a new research project that describes code in natural language in order to help notice developers. The second solution, called “OpenAI Codex” lets users convert natural language into over a dozen programming languages.
In addition to these developer-focused updates, Microsoft has announced that the .NET Multi-platform App UI (MAUI) is now generally available for cross-platform application development. It enables developers to build a Visual Studio project and use it on all other supported platforms with only a few code changes.
“This release marks a new milestone in our multi-year journey to unify the .NET platform. Now you and over 5 million other .NET developers have a first-class, cross-platform UI stack targeting Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows to complement the .NET toolchain (SDK) and base class library (BCL). You can build anything with .NET,” explained Microsoft’s David Ortinau.
To get started, you will need to install Visual Studio 2022 Preview version 17.3 Preview 1.1 on your Windows PCs and then select the “.NET Multi-platform App UI development” workload. Microsoft noted that the .NET MAUI workload will be supported for 18 months, and it plans to add MAUI support to Visual Studio 2022 (GA) later this year.