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PowerShell 3.0 Released for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008

Microsoft on Tuesday released PowerShell 3.0 for use with its current flagship Windows client and server operating systems.

This release of Microsoft's newest scripting language and development environment for IT pros is designed for use with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 or Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2, according to the company's announcement. The new release provides access to a growing number of scripting commands, which Bill Laing, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Server and Tools Business, recently said tops 2,400 commandlets (cmdlets).

Microsoft distributes PowerShell 3.0 with its Windows Management Framework 3.0, which can be downloaded here

Windows Management Framework 3.0, in addition to making PowerShell 3.0 available on systems, adds a few components that support management tasks. One of those components is "Windows Management Instrumentation" (WMI), which supports infrastructure for management data and operations. IT pros typically write scripts that leverage WMI to automate tasks on remote computers. Another component in the framework is "WinRM," which is Microsoft's version of the WS-Management standard, a SOAP-based protocol for exchanging management information across disparate systems. Lastly, the framework includes "Management OData IIS Extensions" to expose PowerShell cmdlets in RESTful form and "Server Manager CIM Provider," which supports management operations using Server Manager.

Those IT pros who are looking for PowerShell 3.0 to run on Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012, which are currently available as release-to-manufacturing versions, don't have to look too far. PowerShell 3.0 comes integrated with those OSes, according to Microsoft MVP Thomas Lee. He explained in a blog post that "PowerShell is now fully integrated into Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012" and that it ships with modules specifically designed for managing aspects of those OSes. Other modules can be obtained by downloading them separately, which enables PowerShell's capabilities to be extended.

Third-party companies, such as Cisco, EMC, Symantec and VMware, have developed their own PowerShell cmdlets to help IT pros manage software products made by those companies, Lee explained.

PowerShell, which relies on a command-line interface rather than a GUI, has evolved over 10 years' time to address automation issues for IT pros. It represents "the future of both Windows administration and the development of manageable enterprise applications," Lee claimed, although he admitted that "the learning curve is steep" for many.

On that note, Microsoft provides a lot of its PowerShell resources and learning materials at its TechNet "script center" page, which can be accessed here.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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