READY: Should you care about Windows PowerShell?

I help out in the community as much as I can. I mostly concentrate my efforts specifically around Windows PowerShell.

I’m starting a series of blogs posts here to talk about PowerShell. I’m going to title the series: “READY”, “SET”, “GO”. “Ready” is this blog post where I’ll try to talk about why you should learn PowerShell. The “Set” post will probably cover some PowerShell terminology you should really know, and may want to refer back to at any time, and finally the “Go” posts will be a potentially indefinite number of posts where I’m actually going to use PowerShell to try to do something productive to show you how you can use PowerShell.

Let me set things straight, PowerShell isn’t for everyone. You may be reading this, and never have to use PowerShell ever in your working lifetime. On the other hand though, it just might help you keep your job and/or even get you a promotion.

There are PowerShell lovers and haters out there. If you’re on the fence, a good article to also read is by Don Jones (http://concentratedtech.com/item/show/blog/55/PowerShell-Who-Cares-Why-Bother-Part-1-of-26). Don is a highly respected blogger, author and speaker. When he says something, a lot of people are listening.

A little bit of history, PowerShell version 1 was released as a web download in November 2006. Microsoft Exchange 2007 was the first Microsoft server product to fully support PowerShell. As a matter of fact, the entire administration user interface is layered on top of PowerShell.

Fast forward to mid-2008, Microsoft announced that PowerShell was now part of their 2009 Common Engineering Criteria (CEC). The CEC is basically a set of engineering guidelines that are to be following by teams within the company. So as of CEC 2009, all server products must provide some level of support for PowerShell. Now that being said, to my knowledge, the level of PowerShell support was never fully defined. On one extreme, you have Exchange 2007 that has 100% PowerShell support, but you have other products, even ones released relatively recently like Hyper-V, that don’t have any direct PowerShell support. In the next post, I’ll introduce some terms that I use when referring to the integration products have with PowerShell.

Now, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 has just released, and what would you know, they have the new PowerShell version 2 packaged, by default, with both of these client and server-based operating systems. Not only is PowerShell version 2 included, but it is now an inseparable part of the core OS.

Folks… PowerShell is here to stay!

Please feel free to leave comments at any time if you want me to cover anything in particular. My next post should appear in the next 2 weeks…

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