PDC 2008: Windows 7, WS2K8 R2 will get PowerShell v2

At the early morning session on the final day of PDC 2008, architect Jeffrey Snover officially confirmed that Windows 7 and the R2 edition of Windows Server 2008 will both get version 2 of PowerShell as standard installation options.

In addition, Snover said, thanks to the ability for an upcoming version of the .NET Framework to run in systems without graphical overhead, PowerShell v2 will also be supported in Server Core, the streamlined, command-line-only installation option for Windows Server introduced with the 2008 edition. Server Core is typically meant for systems that do not need to be administered directly, and can instead use remote management tools.

Among the major new features being added to version 2 of PowerShell is extended support for remote management tools, including a variety of new cmdlets ("command-lets") for managing heterogeneous systems remotely. To demonstrate, Snover showed how cmdlets could retrieve information from a Linux-based virtual machine, all from a Windows-based command line.

But perhaps more importantly for the general user, every Windows 7 user will have access (at long last) to one of the most scriptable and adaptable command lines ever developed -- an extremely effective alternative to the DOS-like CMD.EXE. Version 2 will have, as we've reported before, a built-in script development environment that's independent of Visual Studio (and, as Snover clearly appreciates, independent of Notepad).

PowerShell cmdlets are actually implementations of .NET made very, very dynamic. Its purpose is to perform in-depth administrative tasks and monitor events and activities, though in version 1, the preferred language for writing new cmdlets and attaching them to the PS vernacular as snap-ins, has been C#. Starting with version 2, a user can conceivably write new PowerShell cmdlets in PowerShell, using the built-in IDE, completely independently of Visual Studio.

What that means is, every Windows 7 client will have the ability to have built for it a personalized, extensible management environment, with a checks-and-balances system that makes certain only authorized processes can make critical changes.

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