A few months ago GitHub revealed GitHub Copilot X, which is a major upgrade to Copilot that adds chat and voice capabilities, as well as brings the tool to other areas of development, like the command line, pull requests, and docs.  

Now the company has officially launched a beta for the new chat functionality for Visual Studio and VS Code.

“As the centerpiece feature of GitHub Copilot X, we believe Copilot Chat will swing the doors wide open to a new age where natural language powers the coding experience, democratizing software development as we know it and making entire teams of developers happier and more productive,” Mario Rodriguez, VP of product at GitHub, wrote in a blog post

Copilot Chat has contextual awareness of the code a developer is working on and what error messages are being shown. It can provide code suggestions, ask questions, get explanations, offer prompts for code, and more. 

According to GitHub, Copilot Chat will help cut down on context switching because when a developer needs to look something up, they won’t need to leave their IDE to get answers. 

In addition to code suggestions, Copilot Chat also helps developers fix their security issues by making suggestions for remediation. It also offers similarly useful help in troubleshooting, providing suggestions, explanations, and alternative approaches. 

“As we prepare to bring the entirety of GitHub Copilot X to general availability, we believe every developer could be made 10 times more productive. This means 10 days of work, done in one day. 10 hours of work, done in one hour. 10 minutes of work, done with a single prompt command. This will allow your developers to amplify their truest self-expression. And it will help a new generation of developers learn and build at the speed of thought,” Rodriguez added.