MICROSOFT HAS RELEASED its latest replacement for the old command line app (CMD), and it's called Windows Terminal.
Initially shown off at this year's Microsoft Build event for developers, the first preview of Windows Terminal is now available for download from the Windows Store.
Windows Terminal isn't just about the command line, though - the new app offers CMD, Powershell and the Linux subsystem in one place.
The tabbed window will mean you'll be able to run instances of all three simultaneously, and even multiple instances of the same one.
This first preview doesn't have many of the customisation options that will be available in the final edition but fret not - if you want to customise your experience, you just have to customise it first. Or to put it another way, Microsoft has given instructions on how to do it by altering the JSON file which stores all the defaults. It's not a smooth way of doing it, but it's a good way to see what's possible as you test.
As well as the tabs, the new version also boasts a Direct-X based text rendering policy, meaning it can cope with different fonts, pitches and even more advanced characters such as emoji. Heck, it'll even support a custom background image - no more boring black backdrop.
The change is certainly overdue. The most recent attempt to update from the original version was in 2006 with the launch of Powershell. Since then, Microsoft has attempted to patch up both, with CMD getting copy/paste support a couple of years ago (about 20 years late, in our humble opinion) and an aborted attempt to make Powershell the default for Windows 10, which nobody asked for and few wanted.
A full roll-out is due later in the year, and if you fancy tinkering with it before then, it's all going to be open-source, available on GitHub and we believe, if you check the weather forecast, it's snowing in hell. μ
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