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Microsoft Updates Windows Terminal and Azure CLI Tools

New Windows Terminal and Azure CLI (command line interface) updates were released this week.

Microsoft delivered a new Windows Terminal 1.2 (stable version), and it rolled out a preview of Windows Terminal 1.3 for Windows 10 systems, per a Wednesday Windows Terminal announcement. In addition, new capabilities were added to the Azure CLI tool that's used for managing Microsoft Azure cloud resources, according to an Azure announcement.

Windows Terminal 1.3 Preview Features
Microsoft mostly highlighted the Windows Terminal 1.3 preview improvements. It delivers a new "command palette" that's styled after the one found in Visual Studio Code development environment. The command palette will lets users search for commands. It'll show a list of commands in its default "Action mode," or users can type the ">" symbol to invoke any Windows Terminal command.

It's possible add custom commands to this command palette by modifying a settings.json file.

Tabs are getting more customization options in the Windows Terminal 1.3 preview. Users can now specify colors for tabs. In addition, users can switch between tabs using keyboard shortcuts. They also can perform searches for tabs using a new tabSearch command.

Another customization is the ability to set the color scheme of an active window in Windows Terminal 1.3 preview. It's possible, as well, to add property values in command-line arguments with the preview.

Azure CLI Features
Azure CLI is currently at version 2.11.0, with updates for managing resources associated with the Azure Kubernetes Service, App Service, Azure Resource Manager and more, as listed in Microsoft's August "Release Notes" document. Microsoft's announcement, though, just highlighted two new features.

One of them is an experimental scripting and automation feature known as the "az config" command, which adds configuration options on top of the current "az configure" command. Microsoft suggested that az config is "more git-like and more syntactically intuitive to use." At some point, Microsoft intends to "merge" the two commands, so right now it's seeking feedback from users.

The other highlighted Azure CLI feature is a new "dynamic extension installer" addition. Azure CLI supports more than 80 extensions, which Microsoft defines as "Python wheels that aren't shipped as part of the CLI but run as CLI commands." Python wheels are a kind of zipped format for installing Python packages. The dynamic extension installer aims to ease such installations.

Microsoft turns off the dynamic installation installer by default, but when it's turned on it "will automatically install the extensions." Microsoft sees it as being useful for scripts that tap "multiple extension commands that have frequent updates."

About the Author

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

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