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What is Windows PowerShell ?

The Windows PowerShell is a command-line shell and scripting language designed to perform administrative tasks in Windows. It is built on the .NET framework, and is designed to address shortcomings, extend the functionality of, and eventually replace the MS-DOS Command Prompt.

In PowerShell, tasks are performed by cmdlets (specialized .NET classes implementing a particular operation). A set of cmdlets can be combined into scripts (files with .ps1 extension). It allows for the output of one cmdlet to be piped into another, similarly to Unix pipelines.

You can start the Windows PowerShell by navigating to:

1. Windows/Start button -> search for "PowerShell", or navigate to: All Programs -> Accessories -> Windows PowerShell

2. It is often necessary to run PowerShell with "Administrator privileges" to be able to make changes. To do that, simply:
right-click on PowerShell, and choose to "Run as Administrator" from the menu.

Different versions of Windows have different cmdlets available.
PowerShell 1 was released in 2006 for Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista and Server 2003
PowerShell 2 was released with Windows 7 and 2008 Server (XP SP3, Vista SP1)
PowerShell 3 is integrated with Windows 8 and Server 2012 (Windows 7 SP1, Server 2008 SP1)
PowerShell 4 is released with Windows 8.1 and Server 2012 R2 (available for Windows 7 SP1, Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows 2012 Server)

With Windows 8 and newer, some of the TCP/IP tweaking functions no longer work with command prompt netsh, and need to be set using PowerShell cmdlets, as per our tweaking articles. Many of the TCP/IP-related cmdlets are only available with Windows 8 and newer.

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