Over the past 15 years or so, we’ve moved to a graphical environment in computers. So why did Microsoft recently give us a brand new command-line interface, the Windows PowerShell? Simply put, we still need a command-line interface. Many developers do a lot of their work by typing in commands, and many IT people still need to run command-line programs where they can capture the output exactly the way they want it. Command-line programs are great for running in the background with their output getting sent to log files that can be processed later. Many IT systems are written in scripting languages such as Perl or Python, which similarly run in a command-based environment, often running in the background without the need for a fancy GUI. In other words, the command line is likely to stay for a very long time.
Microsoft is well aware of this, and therefore felt it was finally time to ditch the old command line that many of us still call DOS, and give us something new. Windows PowerShell (previously known by its code name, Monad) is a command-line tool built upon .NET that includes an entire .NET-based scripting language that is probably as useful as other scripting languages such as Perl. PowerShell is available for free and runs on any of the newer Windows operating systems. It can be downloaded from the main PowerShell site.
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Microsoft, PowerShell, .NET