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GitHub Copilot Chat Available in a Preview for Businesses

GitHub has taken a significant step forward in expanding its GitHub Copilot service by making the GitHub Copilot Chat accessible to all GitHub Copilot for Business customers. This new feature offers users a context-aware, conversational programming assistant directly within their Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code development environments.

Until now, GitHub Copilot Chat was limited to a private, exclusive beta program. However, with this latest release, users can now benefit from real-time coding assistance tailored to their specific needs, including guidance on best practices, tips, and solutions for coding challenges. The tool also offers code analysis, breaking down complex concepts and providing explanations for code suggestions, making it easier for developers to understand intricate portions of their code.

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Moreover, the chat assistant excels in troubleshooting, identifying issues, and offering suggestions, explanations, and alternative approaches. It even provides suggested remediations for security vulnerabilities found in the code, enhancing the overall code quality.

To access the beta version of GitHub Copilot Chat, GitHub Copilot for Business users can sign up through the official GitHub website at github.com. Once enrolled, they can integrate this helpful assistant into their development workflow through Visual Studio Code and Visual Studio extensions. The convenience of executing complex tasks with simple prompts sets this tool apart, according to GitHub.

The wider beta release, announced on July 20, marks the first step toward introducing GitHub Copilot X to enterprises. The latter will feature technical previews of generative AI and GPT-4 for developers, promising even more advanced and sophisticated capabilities.

GitHub emphasizes that GitHub Copilot Chat is not just a simple chat window; instead, it actively understands the code the developer has typed and is aware of any error messages displayed by the integrated development environment (IDE). This context-awareness greatly enhances its ability to provide accurate and relevant assistance to the developer.

Notably, Microsoft had previously provided a preview of Copilot Chat for GitHub Copilot within Visual Studio Code. However, despite the promising features, GitHub Copilot has faced concerns and even legal challenges regarding the fairness and legality of its usage of publicly available code. GitHub has asserted that the technology behind Copilot has been trained on billions of lines of code from various sources worldwide, which has contributed to its extensive knowledge and capabilities.