Microsoft publishes Windows Terminal 2.0 roadmap

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Windows 10 is undeniably a graphic-based operating system, but there have always been various text-driven command line options too. With Microsoft increasingly embracing Linux, the arrival of Windows Terminal was pleasing if unsurprising.

The utility provides access to the Command Prompt, PowerShell and WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux), and although version 1.0 has only just been released, Microsoft has already published it roadmap for Windows Terminal 2.0.

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The finished version of Windows Terminal 2.0 is not scheduled for release until the middle of next year, but Microsoft is setting out some of the features and improvements it wants to bring to the tool. Later this month, the company plans to release Windows Terminal 1.1 Preview, and then a monthly schedule of releases kicks in, leading up to a release candidate on April 30, 2021.

Program manager Kayla Cinnamon tweeted about the new roadmap:

So, what can we expect from Windows Terminal 2.0? Over on GitHub, Microsoft sets out what it hope to deliver (in the table below, a priority of 0 means "Mandatory", 1 means "Optimal", and 3 means "Optional / Stretch-goal"):

Priority* Scenario Description/Notes
0 Settings UI A user interface that connects to settings.json. This provides a way for people to edit their settings without having to edit a JSON file.

Issue: #1564

0 Command palette A popup menu to list possible actions and commands.

Issues: #5400#2046
Spec: #2193

1 Tab tear-off The ability to tear a tab out of the current window and spawn a new window or attach it to a separate window.

Issue: #1256
Spec: #2080

1 Clickable links Hyperlinking any links that appear in the text buffer. When clicking on the link, the link will open in your default browser.

Issue: #574

1 Default terminal If a command-line application is spawned, it should open in Windows Terminal (if installed) or your preferred terminal

Issue: #492
Spec: #2080

1 Overall theme support Tab coloring, title bar coloring, pane border coloring, pane border width, definition of what makes a theme

Issue: #3327
Spec: #5772

1 Open tab as admin/other user Open tab in existing Windows Terminal instance as admin (if Terminal was run unelevated) or as another user.

Issue: #5000

1 Traditional opacity Have a transparent background without the acrylic blur.

Issue: #603

2 SnapOnOutput, scroll lock Pause output or scrolling on click.

Issue: #980
Spec: #2529
Implementation: #6062

2 Infinite scrollback Have an infinite history for the text buffer.

Issue: #1410

2 Pane management All issues listed out in the original issue. Some features include pane resizing with mouse, pane zooming, and opening a pane by prompting which profile to use.

Issue: #1000

2 Theme marketplace Marketplace for creation and distribution of themes.
Dependent on overall theming
2 Jump list Show profiles from task bar (on right click)/start menu.

Issue: #576

2 Open with multiple tabs A setting that allows Windows Terminal to launch with a specific tab configuration (not using only command line arguments).

Issue: #756

3 Open in Windows Terminal Functionality to right click on a file or folder and select Open in Windows Terminal.

Issue: #1060
Implementation: #6100

3 Session restoration Launch Windows Terminal and the previous session is restored with the proper tab and pane configuration and starting directories.

Issues: #961#960#766

3 Quake mode Provide a quick launch terminal that appears and disappears when a hotkey is pressed.

Issue: #653

3 Settings migration infrastructure Migrate people's settings without breaking them. Hand-in-hand with settings UI.
3 Pointer bindings Provide settings that can be bound to the mouse.

Issue: #1553

Microsoft also notes: "There are many other features that don't fit within 2.0, but will be re-assessed and prioritized for 3.0, the plan for which will be published in 2021".

Image credit: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock

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