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InfoQ Homepage News Windows PowerShell Released

Windows PowerShell Released

For the first time Microsoft has released a new command line shell for Windows. PowerShell, formally known as Monad, replaces the venerable DOS-based CMD.

Aside from the blue background and 120 column default format, one of the first things one notices is that many commands map to both a DOS and a Unix alias. Examples include dir/ls and help/man. Keep in mind that the commands only map superficially, there are significant differences from both the original DOS and Unix commands.

To the annoyance of many long time Windows users, the forward slash is no longer used for command options. Instead, it serves as a path separator just like it does in Unix. Another issue is that the main help index isn't sorted in any noticeable order. Fortunately the external documentation that includes a quick start guides, cheat sheets, and a complete user manual.

Billed as an "object-orientated" shell, PowerShell is much larger and more complex that most Windows users are used to. But with the ability to leverage COM and CLR objects directly from the command line, it is a promising technology and well worth the investment.


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