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Windows Blue Gets PowerShell 4.0, Too

Just saw a very interesting bit of “build detective work,” by Rafael Rivera over at the Within Windows blog. It’s entitled “Windows 8.1, PowerShell 4.0, and new cmdlets.” For those not already in the know, cmdlets are PowerShell scripts, usually designed to lift the burden of repetitive maintenance, configuration, and management tasks for Windows admins. Rivera takes the time to list out all of the new cmdlets he finds in the recently-leaked Build 9374 of Windows 8.1 aka “Windows Blue.” This makes for very interesting reading, so I’m going to reproduce them in tabular format here, and then comment on what I see afterwards.

Windows 8.1 “Blue” Cmdlets By Category
VPN Configuration Windows Defender Start Screen
Add-VpnConnection Add-WDefPreference Export-StartLayout
Add-VpnConnectionRoute Get-WDefComputerStatus Get-StartApps
Add-VpnConnectionTriggerApplication Get-WDefPreference Import-StartLayout
Add-VpnConnectionTriggerDnsConfiguration Get-WDefThreat DISM
New-VpnServerAddress Get-WDefThreatCatalog Add-WindowsImage
Remove-VpnConnectionRoute Get-WDefThreatDetection Expand-WindowsImage
Remove-VpnConnectionTriggerApplication Remove-WDefPreference Export-WindowsImage
Remove-VpnConnectionTriggerDnsConfiguration Remove-WDefThreat Get-WindowsImageContent
Set-VpnConnectionIPsecConfiguration Set-WDefPreference New-WindowsImage
Set-VpnConnectionTriggerDnsConfiguration Start-WDefScan Remove-WindowsImage
Kiosk Update-WDefSignature Split-WindowsImage
Clear-KioskLockdown NAT Management Set-AppXProvisionedDataFile
Get-KioskLockdown Add-NetNatExternalAddress Trusted Platform Module (TPM)
Set-KioskLockdown Add-NetNatStaticMapping Confirm-TpmFunctionality
WMI Get-NetNat Get-TpmEndorsementKeyInfo
ConvertTo-MOFInstance Get-NetNatExternalAddress Get-TpmSupportedFeatures
Get-MofInstanceText Get-NetNatSession Systems Management
Test-MofInstanceText Get-NetNatStaticMapping Get-PCSVDevice
Clear-CachedCimSchema New-NetNat Restart-PCSVDevice
Get-CachedCimSchema Set-NetNat Start-PCSVDevice
Import-CimInstances Remove-NetNat Stop-PCSVDevice
Import-CimSchema Remove-NetNatExternalAddress Set-PCSVDeviceNextBoot
Storage Remove-NetNatStaticMapping Invoke-DscConfiguration
Clear-FileStorageTier Volume NFC Printer
Get-StorageTier Disable-VolumeShortnameGeneration Read-PrinterNfcTag
Get-StorageTierSupportedSize Enable-VolumeShortnameGeneration Write-PrinterNfcTag
Get-FileStorageTier Get-VolumeExtendedInformation  Systems Management
Register-StorageSubsystem Write-VolumeCache  Get-PCSVDevice
Set-FileStorageTier Write-FileSystemCache  Restart-PCSVDevice
Set-StorageTier Systems Mgmt Bus (SMB)  Start-PCSVDevice
New-StorageTier Move-SmbClient  Stop-PCSVDevice
Remove-StorageTier  TCP/IP  Set-PCSVDeviceNextBoot
Resize-StorageTier  Get-NetCompartment  Invoke-DscConfiguration

Here’s some more information and speculation on the categories and their applets, from left to right and top to bottom in order of appearance:

  • VPN Configuration: a great many more cmdlets for managing Virtual Private Network connections, triggers, routes, and DNS make an appearance
  • Windows Defender: make it possible to automate management of Windows Defender across an entire Windows network
  • Start Screen: provide the ability to customize the Windows 8 Start screen
  • DISM has been at odds with PowerShell syntax in the past; these cmdlets hide the differences inside standard structure and syntax
  • Kiosk: enables setting up Windows 8 to run a single application (for a museum, store, or special-purpose kiosk PC)
  • NAT management: enable automated handling for Network Address Translation elements in the Windows Routing and Remote Access (RRAS) infrastructure found in Windows Server
  • Trusted Platform Module (TPM): provides access to important TPM info without having to work through a TPM API or access the TPM Management Console
  • TCP/IP: a “net compartment” is new terminology, so we’ll have to wait and see what this means/is for
  • Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI): manages information in WMI schemas and instances
  • Systems Management: provides access to the new Physical Computer System View (PCSV) information to be found in next-generation Windows systems in the enterprise
  • Storage: management for storage roles in Windows Server “Blue”, interacts with Storage Pools on both clients and servers
  • Volume: miscellaneous volume management utilities
  • SMB: something inside which to wrap the Systems Management Bus APIs from Microsoft
  • Printer: these items reference NFC (“near field communications”) so Rivera speculates — and I agree — that this is an intimation of support for NFC printers, possibly for asset management or tracking

In his story Rivera includes a screen capture from the Registry Editor that clearly shows a new PowerShell 4.0 version reported in Windows 8.1 “Blue,” indicating another version change is  pending. It will be interesting to see what new language changes and features this brings to the table. I’m going to contact some of my PowerShell buddies and see if they can give me a preview of coming attractions. More information on that as and when it comes my way!

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