Making Windows Better for Developers: Microsoft’s Plan

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Microsoft is looking to make Windows a better development environment. To that end, it is introducing significant updates to the Windows Insider developer channel this week. The most noteworthy of these is GitHub Copilot X, a tool that will allow users to access Windows Terminal more easily. On top of that, there is Dev Home, a new open source Windows app that lets developers quickly get their machines set up and connect to their code repositories.

Aside from these apps, Microsoft is also adding a new type of storage volume for Windows 11 called Dev Drive. It is based on the same file system that the company uses on Azure, offering users a monumental boost in build times of up to 30% in performance improvements. Moreover, Windows Defender now has the capability to scan the drives without interrupting file operations.

Evidence of developers migrating to the platform is already apparent as Windows’ number of developers continued to rise by 24% last year. Michael Harsh, a Group Program Manager of Microsoft’s Windows Platform Team, attributes this to Windows Subsystem for Linux, as well as the pain of setting up an environment on Windows being a major issue. The company is aiming to ease this with a WinGet configuration file that creates repeatable configurations and can be quickly onboarded to a new project.

Microsoft is also reaping the benefits of the Python craze, with its Windows Terminal integrating a GitHub Copilot that promises an experimental chat experience as well as intuitively recommending commands and helping to explain errors. This app was preceded by ChatGPT in Warp’s Terminal, though Windows Terminal comes installed by default in Windows 11, giving Microsoft a wider reach.

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Overall, these updates are set to drastically improve the developer experience on Windows, making the platform more capable and efficient than ever. With years of data related to Windows development already under its belt, Microsoft is in a unique position to implement efficient tools that give users the best possible experience.

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