After launching the coding assistant Copilot, Microsoft has announced the general availability of the tool this summer. Making this announcement at Build 2022, Microsoft also notified that Copilot will be freely available for students and ‘verified’ open-source contributors. Until now, the tool was available in technical preview.
Copilot provides suggestions for lines of codes inside platforms like Microsoft Visual Studio. It is based on the AI model Codex, which is trained on billions of lines of public code; the coding assistant is available as a downloadable extension.
Copilot will also have a new feature called Copilot Explain, which translates code into natural language description. This will help new developers or those working with unfamiliar codebases. In an interview with TechCrunch, Ryan J. Salva, VP of product at GitHub, said that Copilot Explain is part of the recently launched Copilot Lab (a separate extension) and is experimental in nature. This means that Copilot Explain may or may not become a permanent feature.