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Microsoft Releases PowerShell 7 Preview

Microsoft has released its "first preview" of PowerShell 7, its latest scripting solution for IT pros and developers, according to a Thursday announcement.

PowerShell 7's engine now uses .NET Core 3.0, and has multiple improvements, as listed at this GitHub page. The GitHub page also offers the preview bits of PowerShell 7, which can be downloaded in various compressed-file formats. PowerShell 7 now tracks with .NET Core 3.0 and follows a six-month update cycle under Microsoft's Modern Lifecycle Policy.

This preview brings back support for the Out-GridView PowerShell commandlet, according to Steve Lee, a principal software engineering manager on the PowerShell Team, in the announcement. The Out-GridView commandlet "sends the output from a command to a grid view window where the output is displayed in an interactive table," according to its description.

Lee mostly described Microsoft's future roadmap plans for PowerShell 7, rather than what's in the preview. He suggested that PowerShell 7 likely would reach general availability (GA) commercial release status "about a month after .NET Core 3.0 GA."

If that plan comes to fruition, PowerShell 7 could be commercially released sometime in October, as Microsoft previously had suggested that .NET Core 3.0 would reach GA in September. Eventually, Microsoft plans to replace .NET Core 3.0 with a unified platform called ".NET 5," which will consolidate .NET Core, .NET Framework, Mono and Xamarin, according to Build developer event announcement made earlier this month.

Last month, Microsoft had explained that PowerShell 7 was designated to become the replacement product for PowerShell Core 6.x products as well as Windows PowerShell 5.1, which is the last supported Windows PowerShell version. Microsoft has been adding modules to its PowerShell Core products to add greater Windows PowerShell support with the aim that PowerShell 7 would bring unified support.

PowerShell works across platforms (Linux, macOS and Windows), but the idea behind PowerShell 7 seems to be mostly centered on helping Windows PowerShell users, who haven't been upgrading and using PowerShell Core as much as Linux users. Microsoft thinks the lag on the Windows side is happening because users are dependent on code that's not yet supported by the modules that Microsoft is adding, which is the main issue that PowerShell 7 aims to solve.

Lee explained that getting the module support in PowerShell 7 also will be dependent on using "the latest builds of Windows 10 (and equivalent Windows Server)."

Microsoft's future plans for PowerShell 7 including adding a secure credential process "from a local or remote based credential store." Microsoft also wants to let users automatically send log information "to a remote target regardless of the OS." It's also investigating requested features, such as improving error report formatting in PowerShell 7, among others.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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