The Return of the C:\ Prompt?

Illustration by Gordon Studer.
Illustration: Gordon Studer
Microsoft has big plans for the trusty old C:\ prompt. For its upcoming Windows Vista operating system, the company is developing a new command-line interface, or shell--the text-based controls typically accessed by clicking Command Prompt (under Start Menu, Programs, Accessories) in Windows XP.

Code-named Monad, the new shell will enable a host of new programs known as scripts--something at which rival Unix operating systems have historically excelled. While these new commands and scripts will interest primarily administrators and power users, less-technical types may benefit from Monad scripts that could circulate on the Internet as Unix scripts do. For example, a Monad script might quickly reorganize files and directories based on their name or creation date--a task that can take a fair bit of manual labor in Windows Explorer.

A beta version of Monad for Windows XP is available as a free download. Registration is required, and you will also need to have .Net Framework 2.0 (available at the same page) installed.

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