Has anyone else noticed that over the past week Microsoft have been making something called "Windows PowerShell" available as a Windows Update for Windows XP SP3 and Vista SP1?

I was pleased when I first saw this appear in the updates list. For years system administrators and power users have been moaning that the old Windows CommandLine (CMD) is now out of date, and very badly underpowered, with the need for a much more advanced CommandLine Shell with support for more powerful UNIX like commands.

There have been a couple of free third party alternative CommandLine Shells available for a while now, but none have obviously been directly supported by M$ as part of the core OS. Now that has changed with this new Windows update.

I've installed it on both XP SP3, and Vista SP1 (64bit) and it seems to work very nicely. It has been developed to utilise standard industry UNIX/Linux commands such as LS which is very useful, and is stated as including 130 different commands/tools/utilities, as well as a full scripting language for automation of tasks (a bit like the old batch files).

You can read more here.

Has anyone else given it a try yet, and what do you think?