Microsoft planned to add a new command-line interface and scripting language (code name "Monad") to Windows Vista but decided to make it a standalone utility called Windows PowerShell 1.0. It is designed primarily for system administrators, but it also provides benefits to home and small business network users using the Professional OS. Users can add Windows PowerShell to Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Vista.
Rather than being composed of a series of standalone commands, Windows PowerShell is made up of object-oriented programs called cmdlets (pronounced "command lets"), which can only run from within the PowerShell command interface. Cmdlets perform a single task and are designed to work together to perform more complex tasks.
In order to take advantage of Windows PowerShell on your Windows XP Pro machine, you must download and install it. Follow these steps:
- Go to the How to Get Windows PowerShell 1.0 page.
- Download and install .NET Framework 2.0 if it's not already installed on your system.
- After .NET Framework 2.0 is installed, download and install the Windows XP Service Pack 2 -- Windows PowerShell 1.0 version that matches your platform (x86 or x64).
Once Windows PowerShell is installed, go to the Scripting with Windows PowerShell page and take a look at the resources in the Getting Started section. If you want to see sample Windows PowerShell scripts, check out the Script Center Script Repository.
Note: This tip is for Windows XP Professional only.
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Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.