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'Monad' Beta Widely Available

Microsoft posted a second beta of its "Monad" shell, the interactive command-line and task-based scripting technology that appears to be on a separate timetable from the Windows Vista release.

The 1.3-MB download for the Windows "Monad" Shell Beta 2 went up on the public Microsoft Download Center on Sunday in advance of the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference.

The beta code will run on several operating systems, including Windows code-name "Longhorn," Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 and Windows Embedded Service Pack 2. The beta also requires the .NET Framework Version 2.0 Redistributable Package Beta 2.

Around the time of the beta 1 release of Windows Vista in July, Microsoft clarified that Monad would not be part of the Vista client operating system release in late 2006. Microsoft's clarification aimed to correct reports that security vulnerabilities that had been identified in the Monad shell were the first vulnerabilities found in Vista.

Monad is intended as an efficient and secure tool for administrators to automate and control system management tasks on desktops and servers. The shell consists of command-line tools and utilities and a scripting language.

According to Microsoft's documentation, key Monad features include:

  • "Simplified command-based navigation of the operating system (including drives, startup files, and registry).
  • "Command extensibility that allows administrators to quickly write scripts, customize commands, and author their own shell tools.
  • "Powerful object manipulation capabilities (objects can be directly manipulated or pipelined to other tools or databases).
  • "Direct control of system data (without the need to perform error-prone text parsing and object lookup).
  • "Powerful aliasing and output formatting capabilities.
  • "Support for existing scripts and command line tools."

    The Monad Shell Beta 2 is available for download here.

  • About the Author

    Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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