PowerShell v3: Start Looking

All this week and next month, I'll be writing short blog entries about PowerShell v3, which is now available as aCommunity Technology Preview (CTP) that runs on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2

I'm not going to be writing a ton of syntax-heavy examples. First, I know you're not going to be using v3 in production, and probably don't need deep syntax examples. Second, the syntax is likely to change in upcoming CTPs or the final release, and I don't want outdated syntax hanging around on the Web for all time.

What I am going to do is introduce you to some of the key new features of PowerShell v3, in hopes that you'll try them out. Get Win7 or Win2008R2 running on a VM, install the CTP, and give these features a whirl. The CTP's CAB file is replete with full code examples, so you can try some of these features, experience the current thinking on new syntax, and so forth - all with no risk.

Please, do this now. 

I know, a lot of you think you should just hold off until this officially becomes "beta," or better yet until RTM or final release. You're unlikely to see a formal beta for PowerShell v3; past experience suggests a series of infrequently-released CTPs instead. And RTM - or even Release Candidate - is far too late for Microsoft to actually act on any suggestions and feedback you may have.

Yes, that's right: You can make a difference. The PowerShell team is incredibly responsive to user input, although due to the way a company like Microsoft has to operate, it might not always seem that way. At least 60 or so of the tweaks in PowerShell v3 came straight from Connect, Microsoft's product feedback site. So if you don't like the syntax you see, or if a feature doesn't seem complete to you, now is the time to tell someone - when they can do something about it. 

Don't wait, and then complain that "Microsoft never listens." They're listening now. 

So, coming up this week and for all of October, I'll get you oriented and experimenting. Go get the CTP bits right now, and get yourself a virtual machine up and running to play with (it's perfectly fine if you set it to host-only networking to keep it from interacting with your production network in any way). Dig in. Interact. Help make this the best shell it can be.

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