One of the last vestiges of the old MS-DOS days, the Command Prompt, is looking like an endangered species. The latest Windows 10 preview build puts the Windows PowerShell, first introduced on Windows Server, front and center.
Build 14791, believed to be the basis for the Redstone 2 upgrade coming early next year, replaces the Command Prompt window in many key areas of the operating system. Command Prompt is still there, just not as accessible. Microsoft is putting the emphasis on PowerShell as the main command shell going forward.
Dona Sarkar, head of the Windows Insider Program, mentioned this change in her blog post discussing Build 14791. She notes that it is still possible to stick with Command Prompt if you wish:
“For those who prefer to use Command Prompt, you can opt out of the WIN + X change by opening Settings > Personalization > Taskbar, and turning ‘Replace Command Prompt with Windows PowerShell in the menu when I right-click the Start button or press Windows key+X’ to Off.”
PowerShell replaces Command Prompt (aka, “cmd.exe”) in the WIN + X menu, in File Explorer’s File menu, and in the context menu that appears when you shift-right-click the whitespace in File Explorer. Typing “cmd” or “powershell” in File Explorer’s address bar is still the quick way to launch the command shell at that location.
Overall, the changes in Build 14791 are pretty modest: reading EPUB books in Edge, a preview of the 3D version of the Pain app, improved input for Chinese and Japanese characters, and an update to the Get Office app. Redstone 2 is rumored to ship around April of next year.
This continues a pattern we've been seeing in Windows 10 where old features are diminished in prominence but not necessarily removed. Internet Explorer 11 remains, but you have to run it manually. The IE icon on the Task Bar launches the new Edge browser.
Likewise, Microsoft is changing the Control Panel. A few builds back, it changed what you got when using the Power Menu. Instead of the Control Panel shortcut, there is now a full menu of options that match the Control Panel's set of applets.