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That link fretje is good. Just ignore the accepted answer though and look at the 20+ rated one. –  Troggy Aug 18 '09 at 17:16
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Be sure to look at the answer with the most up votes not the accepted answer. –  EBGreen Aug 18 '09 at 17:17
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Windows Powershell can be good to user for "superusers" too, as it's easier to navigate, and closer to a unix console (for users familiar with it). It's not necessarily programming related only. –  Gnoupi Aug 18 '09 at 17:31
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I also have to disagree. Powershell is for Developers, SysAdmins and PowerUsers alike, and I see nothing wrong with this particular question being asked on SU. In fact I have even seen some PowerShell answer pop-up which is great to see. –  Diago Aug 18 '09 at 17:33

3 Answers 3

up vote 14 down vote accepted

Taken from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_PowerShell

Windows PowerShell is an extensible command-line shell and associated scripting language from Microsoft. It was released in 2006 and is currently available for Windows XP SP2/SP3, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, and is included in Windows Server 2008 as an optional feature. Windows PowerShell 2.0 was released with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. It is going to be backported to previous supported platforms Windows XP SP3, Windows Server 2003 SP2, Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008.[4]

Windows PowerShell integrates with the Microsoft .NET Framework and provides an environment to perform administrative tasks by execution of cmdlets (pronounced commandlets), which are specialized .NET classes implementing a particular operation; scripts, which are compositions of cmdlets along with imperative logic; executables, which are standalone applications; or by instantiating regular .NET classes.5 These work by accessing data in different data stores, like the filesystem or registry, which are made available to the PowerShell runtime via Windows PowerShell providers.

Windows PowerShell also provides a hosting mechanism with which the Windows PowerShell runtime can be embedded inside other applications, which can then leverage Windows PowerShell functionality to implement certain operations, including those exposed via the graphical interface. This capability has been utilized by Microsoft Exchange Server 20075 to expose its management functionality as PowerShell cmdlets and providers and implement the graphical management tools as PowerShell hosts which invoke the necessary cmdlets. Other Microsoft applications including Microsoft SQL Server 2008[8] also expose their management interface via PowerShell cmdlets. In the future, graphical interface-based management applications on Windows will be layered on top of Windows PowerShell.

Windows PowerShell includes its own extensive, console-based help, reminiscent of man pages in Unix shells via the Get-Help cmdlet.

Searching Stackoverflow using this search I've found the following:

Again on serverfault using this search I've found the following:

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+1 for the StackOverflow links –  Gnoupi Aug 18 '09 at 17:21
    
Indeed. Nice collection, thanks :) –  Svish Aug 18 '09 at 18:30

The "Great Powershell Heresy", a.k.a. greatest innovation of PS over the UNIX-style shells you may be familiar with (tcsh, bash, etc.) is this:

Pipelines in "all those other shells" pass strings around. Pipelines in PowerShell pass objects around.

Because of this, PowerShell might be "harder" to learn, i.e. it requires learning new technology, and doing detailed stuff requires more knowledge of what's going on... but, once learned, it is VASTLY simpler to write shell scripts that can actually be read by other people (or you, 5 years later)... and those scripts are far less likely to "break" when something else on the system is changed.

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Quick and simple for the non power-user reading this:

Unless you are a system administrator you will not need Powershell. All it is is a collection of powerful shell commands for an administrator to use in the administration of Windows Server and client computers and the creation of scripts.

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I use PS at home and on my family's computers for generic file activities. It is in no way limited to admins. –  EBGreen Aug 18 '09 at 18:13
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I also use many admin tools in my day to day home computer use, but I am a network administrator and have always been a power user. Most people just surfing around this site are going to look at the wiki reference and skip right past, this is for them.... thus the note at the top. –  knups Aug 18 '09 at 18:43
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Ehh...I start with the assumption that users at superuser.com are...you know...super users. –  EBGreen Aug 18 '09 at 18:46
    
Most users of Google.com are not... and by that logic are all users of WebMD.com.. you know.. doctors? –  knups Aug 18 '09 at 22:09
    
That's fine, but I doubt that WebMD's FAQ starts with "WebMD is a site for Doctors". Whereas SU's FAQ starts with "Super User is for computer enthusiasts and power users." –  EBGreen Aug 19 '09 at 23:10

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