June 30, 2004 .net

All About MSH:The Microsoft Shell (Codename Monad)

I’m a big cmd.exe user and was a big Korn Shell user before that, so command shells are an important part of my life and thus, I’m skeptical of new ones. However, I’ve been drooling over MSH (the Microsoft Shell — codename Monad) ever since I first saw it. In fact, when I saw Karsten’s post on getting the Monad bits for Windows XP and 2003, I was much excited. Then, I saw the Fundamentals Pillar topic on The .NET Show, which featured Jeffrey Snover (The Father of Monad) in the back half of the show and I was hooked. The way he told the Monad story motivated me to register for the public beta of Monad via Karsten’s instructions and wait impatiently over the weekend to be awarded permissions to download the bits.

Which I promptly installed on the WinHEC build of Longhorn (build 4074), even though it’s only supported for Windows XP and Windows 2003.

As it turns out, Longhorn comes with an earlier preview of Monad, but it’s much older than the latest Monad drop. So, I installed the latest Monad on the latest Longhorn, hoping that it would work and that I could follow along with my new hero Jeffrey.

And follow along I did, because not only did the latest Monad bits install and run just peachy under Longhorn, but the included Getting Started docs gave me hours of fun! With the functionality that Monad provides, I’m going to have a hard time going back to anything else.

If you’re a command-line person, I recommend getting on the Monad beta, taking it for a spin and letting those guys if there’s anything you don’t like (for example, I miss the start” command, but I think I’ll go build it…).