To infinity and beyond
Microsoft’s Powershell is a framework program that automates tasks and manages configuration across a variety of platforms. It utilizes command line control to manage computers both locally and remotely, opening up a world of computing possibilities.
Take control of your computer
Powershell takes computing to another level. It’s raison d’être is to give users more control over their operating systems.
This .NET framework user interface was originally designed for Microsoft but has since changed to an open-source project available for Macs and Linux operating systems, as well. Its base source code is now available on GitHub for contributions and improvements.
Powershell’s designers have incorporated many useful commands into its framework to facilitate use. Two examples of these include Get-Command x, which gives you a list of available 'cmdlets' (commands) for a particular action, and Get-Help to learn more about each cmdlet.
Its ease of use can be both a benefit and a danger, given how powerful Powershell is. The program can easily cause huge configuration changes, (intentional or not) and thus should be used with caution. Two ways to mitigate this risk are to create a test environment during practice sessions and to include the '-confirm' parameters to test out your script before executing it.
One of the more advanced uses of Powershell is its ability to access and control multiple computers in a network. This is particularly useful for Network Administrators or anyone who needs to be in command of multiple machines simultaneously.
Where can you run this program?
This program runs on Windows XP and newer versions, Mac, and Linux operating systems.
Is there a better alternative?
No. For what it does, Powershell is your top choice. If you insist on looking elsewhere, some other decent options are cmder and Cygwin.
Powershell is a valuable and efficient tool for those who seek command line control of their computers or who work with servers connected to multiple devices.
Should you download it?
Absolutely. If you are someone that the above sentence describes, then this shell will very likely come in handy for you. On the other hand, if you are a 'normal' computer user, you probably won’t have much need for it.
- Cross-platform shell
- Rapidly automates OS tasks
- Easy to discover new system features
- Combines interactive shell and scripting environment
- Consistent interface
- Requires a learning curve
- Has low-level access
- Can create security risks