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Microsoft: Don’t worry, MS-DOS will live on after all
Microsoft wants to make it clear that the last bits of MS-DOS, cmd.exe, aren’t going away.

It sure looked like Microsoft was putting MS-DOS out to pasture. Now it’s saying that the MS-DOS command prompt cmd will continue to live on.

According to a Microsoft spokesperson, “Microsoft is not removing Cmd from Windows, but rather changing the default shell, launched via File Explorer and the [Win] + [X] power-user menu, from Cmd to PowerShell. Users can opt to change the default shell back to Cmd via Settings and can continue to launch whichever shell they prefer, be it Cmd, PowerShell, or Bash (if enabled) via the Start menu. The Windows Cmd shell has a long heritage and is an essential tool used by millions of businesses, users, and developers every day. It remains an integral part of Windows.”

Microsoft may be making this move because, while to most of us the last pieces of MS-DOS hidden within Windows 10 are a historical curiosity, others still use them. These people were not happy about cmd being replaced by PowerShell.

One Computerworld reader explained, “I use command prompt almost every day for small stuff. PowerShell does a lot more but for some reason every time I try to do some easy stuff with the old commands I know it doesn’t always work out and I end up in a long internet search about how to just get it to work.”

Some system administrators still like it as well. One wrote, “I have 5+ CMD windows open all the time. I’m hitting remote systems across the country with ease. No need to learn a bloated PS if I already have all the tools I need at my finger tips.”

On Reddit, a reader added, “the convenience of a .BAT [MS-DOS Batch file] is unparalleled by a PS1 {PowerShell Script]. Not in functionality, but in usability and ‘quick and dirty is fine — just do it’ kind of way. Kind of like how inherently glue is more diverse, more rugged, more specialized than duct tape.”

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