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Learning Microsoft PowerShell

One of the projects I have set myself for the next 6 months is to learn one of Microsoft’s more interesting technologies, Microsoft PowerShell.

PowerShell is Microsoft’s equivilent to Bash Shell in Linux and Mac OS X. An improvement on the old DOS Batch files days (Remember .bat files anyone?), it gives Microsoft Sysadmin’s the option to write scripts to automate various actions which can then be run on demand or on a automated schedule. PowerShell has also been built into many of Microsoft’s latest technologies such as Exchange, Lync and even the standard Windows 7, 8, 10 and Windows Server 2008 and Server 2012 to such a degree that PowerShell is becoming required knowledge to pass the MCSA/MCSE exams.

PowerShell started life at Microsoft as Monad in mid 2002 and was designed by Jeffry Snover, over the past 9 years, it has been renamed and gone from version 1 to the current stable version 4 with version 5 being in testing at this point.

Version 4 was released in 2012 and works with Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and Windows Server 2012.

Strangely, the downloads for PowerShell v4 are not listed as PowerShell but rather as Windows Management Framework v4. Microsoft .Net Framework 4.5 is required for PowerShell to be installed.

.Net Framework 4.5.2 is available for download at Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.2 (Offline Installer)

PowerShell v4 is available for downat at Windows Management Framework 4.0

The correct download package for your Operating system and architecture (32bit or 64bit) are as follows:

Windows 7 SP1
64bit: Windows6.1-KB2819745-x64-MultiPkg.msu
32bit: Windows6.1-KB2819745-x86.msu

Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
64bit: Windows6.1-KB2819745-x64-MultiPkg.msu

Windows Server 2012
64bit: Windows8-RT-KB2799888-x64.msu