For the Windows OS, few tools hold more weight than the PowerShell scripting environment. In this tip, IT pro Rick Vanover breaks down this new environment for Windows Server 2008 R2.


Windows Server 2008’s R2 incremental release offers PowerShell 2.0 installed by default. For the base release of Windows Server 2008, you have to explicitly add PowerShell.

PowerShell 2 is currently available as a community technology preview (CTP) at version 3 to replace existing PowerShell 1 installations. The PowerShell 2 that is currently in Windows Server 2008 R2 is slightly different than the CTP that has been available.

PowerShell 2 introduces quite a bit of new functionality and some changes to cmdlets within PowerShell. While these changes are minor and generally accommodate additional parameters, you should give consideration to existing scripts. The release notes document on the Microsoft Web site has a full breakdown of the current PowerShell 2 changes and upgrades. With these new functions and cmdlets, it would be worth testing any PowerShell 1.0 scripts out on a PowerShell 2 environment to ensure the scripts run correctly.

With all of the new PowerShell 2 features, it’s a good time to line up the resources you need to write good PowerShell scripts. Here are some of the best resources that can help you make the transition to PowerShell 2:

  • Windows PowerShell Blog: The official Microsoft blog for PowerShell.
  • A community site affiliated with Quest software which has many PowerShell resources, including their own build that can integrate into other products such as Active Directory, VMware Infrastructure, and SQL through its PowerPacks.
  • The PowerShell Guy: A good resource for scripting.

Given that PowerShell will be a default configuration for Windows servers going forward, it’s a good idea to have resources lined up for scripting.

Share your comments about PowerShell 2 for Windows Server 2008 in the discussion.

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