Windows Terminal Becoming Default Console in Windows 11

Microsoft indicated plans this week to make its open source Windows Terminal app the default command-line console in Windows 11, along with opening the operating system up to using other consoles by default.

Windows Terminal had its debut in 2019 and works on systems running Windows 10 version 18362.0 or higher. It's used to run command-line tools and shells such as "Command Prompt, PowerShell, and WSL [Windows Subsystem for Linux]," per Microsoft's product description. Windows Terminal notably has customization capabilities, such as the ability to keep multiple tabs open, set custom themes, plus specify color preferences for background and text.

Microsoft's announcement explained that its current default terminal in Windows is based on the venerable Windows Console Host, namely conhost.exe. The Windows Console Host is typically used by the command prompt in Windows, as well as by PowerShell.

It's been possible for "third-party" (non-Microsoft) software developers to bring their consoles to Windows, but it wasn't supported by Microsoft. However, "now, we are opening up the functionality to allow for other terminals to be set as default, including Windows Terminal," explained Kayla Cinnamon, program manager II for Windows Terminal, Command Line and Cascadia Code, in the announcement.

Windows Terminal will become the default console application on Windows 11 "over the course of 2022," Cinnamon indicated.

Cinnamon didn't describe the timing for opening up Windows to using alternative consoles by default.

About the Author

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


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