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Unified Copilot experience will land in Visual Studio 17.10, due in May

The GItHub Copilot logo

Microsoft has announced that Visual Studio 17.10, which is due out in May, will get a unified Copilot experience which combines the features of Copilot and Copilot Chat into one package. This should remove the need to install two separate extensions, and allows for “more deeply integrated AI experiences in the future.”

If you want to try out the new unified experience before May, you can download Preview 3 right now and try it out. You will need to activate a GitHub Copilot subscription to use the feature, if you don’t want to pay, you can use a free trial.

If you’re a bit out of the loop on what Copilot can do for programmers, it offers an interactive experience in Visual Studio through chat in a separate window and directly in your code. Copilot can give you context-aware code completions, suggestions, entire code snippets, writer commit messages, debug your code, generate unit tests, and more.

Explaining some of the other features, Microsoft writes:

  • Speeding up your coding tasks with Copilot generated snippet, methods, and even entire programs.
  • Improve your code quality with Copilot’s optimization feature “/optimize” in Copilot Chat to improve your code’s performance, readability, and security.
  • Learn new coding patterns, languages, and frameworks by getting explanations and documentation for the suggested code from Copilot.
  • Focus on more satisfying and creative work by allowing Copilot to handle the repetitive, boilerplate, or tedious code, and conserving your mental energy and flow.

Microsoft says that Copilot is included out of the box in Visual Studio 17.10 and will be installed on update or install. If you need to install GitHub Copilot later, you can do that from the Visual Studio Installer by searching for GitHub Copilot in the Individual Component tab.

If you are on Visual Studio 17.8 or 17.9, you can still install the GItHub Copilot Chat and GitHub Copilot Completions extensions from Extension Manager but to get the latest features you’ll need to update to 17.10.

Source: Microsoft

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