2 min Devops

Microsoft brings independent application builder Devin within reach

Microsoft brings independent application builder Devin within reach

Through a partnership with builder Cognition, Microsoft is bringing Devin within reach. This chatbot aroused attention earlier this year by developing fully autonomous software using generative AI.

The collaboration was unveiled at the Microsoft Build developer conference last week, but it went somewhat unnoticed, partly because of a slew of other announcements. Also Microsoft itself shared limited details about it. “Microsoft and Cognition will bring Cognition’s autonomous AI software agent, Devin, to customers to help them with complex tasks such as code migration and modernization projects. As part of the agreement, Devin will be powered by Azure”, were two of three sentences about Devin that Microsoft shared in a blog. Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott expressed his enthusiasm during a keynote by talking about what Devin can do.

That enthusiasm is justified because Devin promises to be distinctive from existing generative AIs for software development. With alternatives, you often have to specify exactly what you want from code on a document-by-document or feature-by-feature basis. Devin takes a different approach to this, allowing a prompt explaining what kind of application you want to convert to actual software. You see the software development happening, with room to provide feedback for feature requests.

Expanding with Microsoft

Currently, Devin is still in an early-access phase. There is a waiting list for interested developers. To make the chatbot more widely available, it is necessary to scale capacity. That is exactly where the partnership with Microsoft seems likely to change. Indeed, Cognition will now have a large tech partner that can support it with resources in more capacity. Powering Devin with Azure will help with wider availability.

For Microsoft, this partnership is beneficial because it can complement the capabilities of GitHub Copilot. That tool serves much more as an AI that assists developers with their work while Devin builds an application independently. So, at X, Cognition clarifies what to expect from the collaboration. “Microsoft will use Devin to help its developers achieve more, starting with code migrations and modernization,” Cognition said. To continue, “From VS Code to GitHub, Microsoft has a singular presence in the developer ecosystem. We’re thrilled to partner on code migration and more uses for Devin, and elevate the developer experience for all.”

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