Windows PowerShell 1.0 Released

At the IT Forum in Barcelona Tuesday, Microsoft announced the final 1.0 version of Windows PowerShell, the company's next-generation command shell for Windows that enables administrators to automate and control tasks on Windows desktops and servers.

PowerShell is a fairly complex endeavor for Microsoft, which has previously focused its attention on the graphical interface while competing 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.

Originally known by the code-name Monad, PowerShell was initially slated to replace the command line in Windows with an object-oriented shell that rivals shells found on Unix systems. However, Microsoft scaled back its plans, saying it would take a a few years to fully flesh out the technology.

For the moment, PowerShell will primarily appeal to IT managers running Windows software such as Exchange 2007. Using the new shell, administrators will be able to do everything from the command line that can be done from the graphical interface.

"Think of it as an integrated version of the Windows Command Prompt (cmd.exe) and VBScript that is easy to use and will allow you to automate and control system administration tasks," said PowerShell developer Alex Heaton.

"We've been extremely grateful and appreciative of the high level of community support and fantastic feedback we've received throughout the time we've been developing PowerShell," the PowerShell team said. "With your help, we've created the best shell experience ever for the Windows platform. We're confident you'll be very pleased with the result!"

Windows PowerShell 1.0 runs on Windows XP SP2, Windows Sever 2003, and, of course, Windows Vista. For more information on what PowerShell can do on Microsoft's new operating system, visit Heaton's post on the Windows Vista Blog.

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