Introduction to MSH

Introduction to MSH.

System administration has always been Windows' Achilles' heel. The
graphical tools that simplify basic chores just get in the way when
there's heavy lifting to be done. And CMD.EXE, the hapless command
shell, pales in comparison to the Unix shells that inspired it. Win32
Perl has been my ace in the hole, combining a powerful scripting
language with extensions that can wield Windows' directory, registry,
event log, and COM services. But I've always thought there should be a
better way.

Jeffrey Snover thought so, too. He's the architect of Monad,
aka MSH (Microsoft Shell), the radical new Windows command shell first
shown at the Professional Developers Conference last fall.

MSH is quirky, complex, delightful, and utterly addictive. You
can, for example, convert objects to and from XML so that programs that
don't natively speak .Net can have a crack at them. There's SQL-like
sorting and grouping. You write ad hoc extensions in a built-in
scripting language that feels vaguely Perlish. For more permanent
extensions, called cmdlets, you use .Net languages.

With MSH, Windows system administration manages to be both fun
and productive. And the story will only improve as the .Net Framework
continues to enfold Windows' management APIs. Competitors take note:
Windows is about to convert one of its great weaknesses into a
strength. [Full story at]

[Jon's Radio]

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