MICROSOFT HAS ANNOUNCED an update to the age-old command line app in Windows.
At the annual Build conference for Developers, the company revealed Windows Terminal, as it's known, which brings together access to a variety of existing command lines - PowerShell, cmd, and WSL (Linux subsystem).
Microsoft said: "We are beyond excited to announce Windows Terminal! Windows Terminal is a new, modern, fast, efficient, powerful, and productive terminal application for users of command-line tools and shells like Command Prompt, PowerShell, and WSL."
Unlike its peers, Windows Terminal offers some nice customisations to make it easier to use. There's colour theming, so you can easily distinguish between different instances/targets, whilst the whole thing offers tabs to keep everything organised, perhaps a callback to the now abandoned Windows Sets which was due to roll out to users across the OS but has since been put on indefinite hiatus.
It seems not that long ago that we were all being advised to switch to Windows Powershell for this sort of thing, (heck, there's even a Snap for Linux) but given that Windows Terminal offers a more holistic environment for developers, it's not surprising to see it being touted as the future home of coding.
There are some other nice tweaks too; GPU-based text rendering is flanked by full emoji support - particularly fun if you like planting Easter Eggs and secret messages in your code. There's also support for "fonts on your PC, including CJK ideograms… powerline symbols, icons, programming ligatures".
The news comes alongside the announcement that there is to be a full Linux kernel added to update for Windows 10 due this autumn, another reason why an all-in-one command line app will prove a massive boon to the developer community.
It's due for release as a preview, this summer in the Microsoft Store, or you can download a preview from GitHub. Yes, that's right - it's open source. Put your tongue back in. The final version is due in Winter 2019. μ
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