No New Command Line for Longhorn

These days, Microsoft seems to be saying more about what vaunted technologies will not make it into Longhorn than those that will. The latest casualty of pressure to get Longhorn out the door and into the hands of customers is Microsoft's new command line scripting shell, known as "Monad" or MSH (Microsoft Shell).

Monad was slated to replace the command line in Windows with an object-oriented technology that rivals shells found on Unix systems. Beta versions of the software have been available to testers since early Longhorn alpha releases, but now Microsoft is looking further down the road with Monad.

"It will take three to five years to fully develop and deliver," said Microsoft Senior Vice President Bob Muglia this week at Tech Ed 2005. "We're also building a next-generation user interface, taking our existing Microsoft Management Console (MMC) technology to the next level in terms of usability."

Monad is a fairly complex endeavor for Microsoft, which has previously focused its attention on the graphical interface while rival server software remains primarily command line based. The idea was to build a Unix-like shell for administrators that offers advanced scripting capabilities while remaining easy to program.

"[Monad] will exceed what has been delivered in Linux and Unix for many years," said Muglia.

Despite not making the cut for Longhorn in 2006 and Longhorn Server in 2007, Microsoft is still finding uses for Monad technology. Microsoft Watch reports that Exchange 12 administration functions will be built atop Monad, which would enable users to do everything from the command line that can be done from the graphical interface.

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