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On Sun 11th November 2012, 13:21 Jonathansays:

PowerShell is Microsoft's new "do anything" shell which is a replacement for the decades old cmd (or for those of you also familiar with the old days of DOS and ther earlier Windows, command). The first thing you notice when you go to open PowerShell is that it takes a while to load before you can do anything. There's also the fact that it's white on blue rather than white on black.

So, what's this new shell all about? For a start you can use all the commands you know and love from cmd but sometimes they will behave differently - that's because some "commands" are aliases to powershell cmdlets. There are a number of cmdlets that come with the shell but these can be extended by PSSnapins and Modules. If you're a systems administrator I'd strongly recommend starting to learn PowerShell now as more and more products can be controlled this way (and sometimes the shell is faster or there's something that can only be accomplished with the shell).

Exchange, Windows Server, Sharepoint and Active Directory are just some of the products you can control with PowerShell and it's amazing how useful a PowerShell one-liner can be, especially when you consider we'd have used a lot more lines or VB to obtain the same result.

Take a look at PowerShell, it's built in to Windows 7 and Windows 8 along with the Windows Server 2008 and above server operating systems. Note you may have to add it as a feature.