Software development: What Windows 10's new Windows Terminal means for PowerShell

Microsoft breaks down how Windows Terminal will work with Windows 10's existing command-line tools.

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Microsoft has moved to clear up the confusion sparked by its reveal of the Windows Terminal application for Windows 10.

Since the announcement, Microsoft program manager Kayla Cinnamon says the company has been repeatedly asked whether the new terminal app for command-line programs will replace Windows Command Prompt or Microsoft's PowerShell command-line shell.

Cinnamon clarifies that the Windows Terminal provides a text terminal for connecting to system shells such as PowerShell and Command Prompt. As such, Windows Terminal isn't a replacement for either shell, but a tool designed to be used with them.

SEE: Tips for building a successful career as a software engineer (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The Windows Terminal is being built to offer many advantages over the existing Windows Console when connecting to system shells.

Windows Terminal will support multiple tabs and be able to connect to a wide range of shells, including Command Prompt, PowerShell Core, Ubuntu, openSUSE, Debian, a Raspberry Pi via SSH, and more.

It will also be highly customizable, with support for background transparency and blur, different colors, themes and styles, mousewheel zoom, and a plethora of keyboard shortcuts.

Its advantages over Windows Console have led Microsoft to also be asked whether PowerShell will replace Windows Console.

Again, Microsoft's Cinnamon says the answer is 'no'.

"Windows Console will continue to ship within Windows for decades to come in order to ensure backward compatibility with the many millions of existing/legacy command-line scripts, apps, and tools," she writes in a blog post, adding Windows Console will run alongside Windows Terminal.

Developers can try out Windows Terminal by building the application from source code available via GitHub.

However, Microsoft has said the application is currently in a very early alpha stage, with many features still to be added.

Microsoft will release Windows Terminal as a Microsoft Store app, and is aiming to release a preview version of Windows Terminal by Summer 2019 and a full version by Winter 2019.

If you're a PowerShell user check out TechRepublic's guide to 10 useful PowerShell commands, as well as this follow up article.

In other developer news, Microsoft made a series of announcements to coincide with the KubeCon event taking place in Barcelona. KubeCon centers around Kubernetes, the open-source software for deploying and managing containers.

Microsoft revealed the alpha release of Helm 3 package manager for Kubernetes, the 1.0 release of the Kubernetes extension for the VS Code editor, the 1.0 release of the Virtual Kubelet project for simplifying the process of using Kubernetes with public cloud services such as Azure Container Instances, and the launch of the Service Mesh Interface, which defines a set of common APIs that offer interoperability across different mesh service technologies.

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