Most shells, including Cmd.exe and the SH, KSH, CSH, and BASH UNIX shells, operate by executing a command or utility in a new process, and presenting the results to the user as text. Over the years, many text processing utilities, such as sed, AWK, and PERL, have evolved to support this interaction.

These shells also have commands that are built into the shell and run in the shell process, such as the typeset command in KSH and the dir command in Cmd.exe. In most shells, because there are few built-in commands, many utilities have been created.

Windows PowerShell is very different.

  • Windows PowerShell does not process text. Instead, it processes objects based on the .NET Framework platform.

  • Windows PowerShell comes with a large set of built-in commands with a consistent interface.

  • All shell commands use the same command parser, instead of different parsers for each tool. This makes it much easier to learn how to use each command.

Best of all, you don't have to give up the tools that you have become accustomed to using. You can still use the traditional Windows tools, such as Net, SC, and Reg.exe in Windows PowerShell.

This section includes the following topics:

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