PowerShell v2Windows PowerShell is a command-line shell interface and scripting tool that makes it easier for Windows administrators to automate tasks using cmdlets, which are commands that perform single tasks, and scripts, which are made up of multiple cmdlets to perform more complex, multi-step tasks.
Previous versions of Windows include a command-line interpreter (command.com or cmd.exe), but PowerShell is much more powerful, providing a UNIX-like command environment that can automate almost every GUI functionality.
PowerShell can be downloaded to run on Windows XP or Vista, but Windows 7 is the first client operating system that comes with it built in. (It is also installed by default in Windows Server 2008 R2.) PowerShell v2 adds about 240 new cmdlets, as well as new APIs and features, such as the ability to invoke PowerShell scripts and cmdlets on a remote computer.
Debra Littlejohn Shinder, MCSE, MVP is a technology consultant, trainer, and writer who has authored a number of books on computer operating systems, networking, and security. Deb is a tech editor, developmental editor, and contributor to over 20 additional books on subjects such as the Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 MCSE exams, CompTIA Security+ exam, and TruSecure's ICSA certification.