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Windows PowerShell RC2 ready to go

PowerShell technology gives Windows administrators a command line shell and scripting language of their own.

Made available this week, the second release candidate for Microsoft's scripting technology, Windows PowerShell allows IT managers to simplify changes across the system by automating certain administrative tasks.

Code-named Monad before April of this year, Windows PowerShell RC2 allows IT administrators to carry out tasks by writing a command script instead of the graphical user interface that Windows usually uses.

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Microsoft mends minor scripting problems in Monad

"I think it gives a true command line for Microsoft Windows," said Michael Cote, a software analyst with RedMonk, a Denver-based firm that researches and analyzes technology and its effect on business. "From the demonstrations I've seen, people will have the ability to do mass configure changes," he said. "They'll be able to sit at one console to make configurations across many machines."

With this new scripting ability, IT administrators of Windows have to do a lot less work to make changes across the system.

When Microsoft announced this year at its management show that PowerShell would be available in future products, "you could hear a huge sigh of relief over having a proper shell environment," said Jon Collins, a principal analyst with Macehiter Ward-Dutton, a research company based in Cambridge, U.K.

IT people will be able to make a change with a script instead of 100 keystrokes and having to go in and out repeatedly, he said.

Scripting has been available in Unix for many years, but this is the first shell script capability for Microsoft. In PowerShell, IT managers will see for the first time shell scripting capability that is deeply integrated in Microsoft products.

The final technology will be available by the end of the year, and the technology will be included in the company's upcoming Exchange 2007 and System Center Operations Manager 2007.

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