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An Introduction to Windows PowerShell in Vista

written by: PreciousJohnDoe•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 5/19/2011

By using Microsoft's Windows PowerShell in Vista, administrators can manage their systems by either typing individual commands or by running scripts that automate management tasks, leading to greater efficiency and better productivity. Find out how Windows Vista PowerShell can be useful to you.

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    What is Windows PowerShell?

    Shorn of all technical jargon, Windows PowerShell may be defined as a new scripting technology which is task-based and follows a strict line of commands. It is built on the Microsoft .NET Framework and provides fully automated system administration tasks to IT professionals to help them increase productivity. In other words, Windows PowerShell is an integrated version of the VBScript and windows command prompt cmd.exe that is a user-friendly language that helps in controlling and automating administration task system.

    If we talk specifically of PowerShell 2.0 here, it was initially launched with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 and is now available for Windows XP SP2/SP3, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista and is reportedly included in Windows Server 2008 as an optional feature.

    The objective of PowerShell is to provide command-line tools (called cmdlets or ‘scripts’ in simpler language) to automate repetitive tasks. There are as many as 129 cmdlets for performing common system administration tasks like managing services, processes, event logs, certificates, the registry, and using Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI).

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    Windows PowerShell in Vista


    With such a large number of scripts, PowerShell offers ample scope for administrators to customize per their own needs. The scripts range from simple one-line commands, to prodigious scripts with managed output and command-line arguments to suit professionals belonging to various skill levels. Administrators looking for a command line shell for interactive scripting will find PowerShell both exciting and useful.

    The chief features of Windows PowerShell, among others, are:

    • A plethora of numerous applications and utilities in terms of system administration
    • Added features of syntax and nomenclature management
    • A facility to navigate common data management system such as the system for storing certificates and registry
    • Intuitive scripting languages that are used by IT professionals for administration tasks

    If the user installs Window Power Shell on Vista computer , it will open up a host of amazing features:

    • Type ‘get-command’ promptly to know the 129 Windows Powershell cmdlets and type PS> get-service to avail all the services.
    • To avail all the services that start with "w" and then also get all associated services, type: PS> get-service w* | format-list DisplayName, DependentServices.
    • Windows PowerShell has a unique advantage named ‘whatif’ to let the user know the result of the command even before implementing the command. All one need todo, is to type is: PS> stop-service w3* -whatif
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    • PowerShell allows experimentation as one can start and stop transcripts of all commands. This feature makes it easy to test commands and save them for use in a script and to avail, type PS> Start-Transcript -Path c:\demo\dfoshow.txt and PS> Stop-Transcript
    • Windows PowerShell is designed to work with objects which make accessing .COM and .NET framework from the command line easy. For easy command line access – type PS> $spVoice = new-object -com "SAPI.spvoice" and PS> $spVoice.Speak("Windows Vista and PowerShell")
    • There are commands available to do several incidental tasks- like playing a song by the band The Posies in Windows Media Player. PowerShell facilitates doing basic calculations from the command line. PowerShell can also be used as a calendar calculator.
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    Windows Vista PowerShell- PowerShell-based Tools and Scripting Language

    Readers may be interested to know how Windows PowerShell is working in the field. MySpace, who is successfully using PowerShell, found it to be extraordinarily helpful that they are already using Windows PowerShell in their production facility to manage thousands of Windows Servers. They claim that some ad-hoc system administration tasks that used to take MySpace 10 minutes are now accomplished in a matter of seconds. This is just one example; many existing users opine that it is quite easy to get started with PowerShell commands.

    This is not to say that Windows PowerShell has not attracted any criticisms. Some IT professionals argue that the addition of a scripting language would make the Microsoft certification exams tougher. The more serious complaint is that the virus mongers can run amok with Windows Power Shell.

    There are, however, a number of Windows PowerShell tools designed especially for the VISTA operating system by exclusive Microsoft stakeholders or partners. Some of these tools are Fullarmour, PowerGadgets, /n software, sense Net 6.0, Sapien Technology Active X PowerShell etc.

    Other Features that are there in Windows PowerShell for Windows VISTA are:

    • File Return flexibility for any type of file of Windows VISTA
    • Windows PowerShell helps in collecting data for evaluating system performance with the help of Windows Assessment Tool which provides numeric ratings to system performance.
    • Bitlocker Features can easily be monitored via PowerShell Prompt commands.
    • Other remarkable features are Run time Data Language Processing, Script Debugging, GUI-based hosting and scripting environment,

    This is an overview of Windows PowerShell for Vista. There are a number of features which are deemed extremely useful for Vista Script language operations. If you want to download windows PowerShell, you can download PowerShell 1.0. Also, visit Technet PowerShell Script Center and Microsoft PowerShell Link for more insight.