When comparing Visual Studio Online vs Google VM Instance, the Slant community recommends Google VM Instance for most people. In the question“What are the best cloud IDEs?” Google VM Instance is ranked 11th while Visual Studio Online is ranked 19th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Private repositories freely available
Private repositories are free and unlimited for any user.
Pro Integrated with Visual Studio IDE
Integrated with the Visual Studio IDE for visualizing on which branch the developer is working currently and visualizes changes not committed yet.
Pro TFS and Git support
Pro Continuous integration available
Pro Project Management tools (e.g. bug tracking)
Issue management, Task planning, resource planning, scrum
Pro Full enterprise solution
Because it is a full enterprise solution, It does almost everything in the SDLC and it does it well.
Pro Gated check ins support
Pro Total environment control
Pro Can run any sort of web-based editor software
For example, one can run Jupyter Notebook on the VM.
Pro Real vi or Emacs editor
Pro Real Linux console
The code is proprietary.
Con Overwhelming complexity
Since it's made to be an enterprise product for large teams and companies, it may be overwhelming for small teams and projects.
Con Limited collaboration features
VSO is built for well-defined teams, not for open-source projects where everyone can collaborate. In order to participate in any way, a user has to be explicitly added to a team.
Con This is not a "cloud IDE," this is a remotely accessible virtual machine.
This topic is about the best cloud IDEs and having a Google VM Instance on the list is a bit of a stretch. That's not to say that the service isn't valuable or great, but it is a completely separate purpose. Granted, you can certainly install the necessary tools on your virtual machine to make it an IDE that is remotely accessible, but that's not exactly the ideal situation and not what someone looking for a cloud IDE is likely looking to do.
Con Can be expensive
If one selects a powerful type of instance or if one does not take care and remember to shut off the instance when it is not being used.
Con Less ideal if you have a slow internet connection
Though this applies to any Cloud IDE, as well.
Con Less ideal if you are mouse dependent
Assuming you are using Vi or Emacs, and not Jupyter or some other web-based editor that is running on the remote VM instance.