I started watching the dot net show a while back, and I downloaded a few episodes particularly to look at the future of Windows as a platform. There was quite a bit of stuff about the likes of Avalon, and Indigo and suchlike, but there was also something very interesting about the new Microsoft shell. Known as "Monad", or MSH, this is pretty much Microsoft's version of BASH or KSH, but for Windows instead of UNIX. As someone pretty into UNIX because of its command line and the ability to do shell scripts and so forth, I was immediately interested. Might be a little bit on the late side, but its great that Microsoft is doing something like this. I was reassured by the people presenting the dot net show episode that Monad would be in Longhorn. However, like many other Microsoft promises, this one looks unlikely.

Rumors that Microsoft officially had cut Monad from Longhorn began circulating last week. When asked last week if Monad was still slated to be part of Longhorn, the Windows client team declined to comment. A representative with the Windows Server team said that Microsoft had not committed to a ship vehicle for Monad.

"We are changing the command line environment in Windows using a new object-oriented command line technology, code-named 'Monad,' that will exceed what has been delivered in Linux and Unix for many years," said Senior Vice President Bob Muglia in an interview. "It (Monad) will take three to five years to fully develop and deliver."

That timeframe of three to five years puts Monad outside the scope of the next version of Windows, scheduled to appear in 2007.

"While I wouldn't be too surprised to hear that Monad won't be in Longhorn client. It is a tool for admins after all. I would be very surprised if it wasn't standard in Longhorn Server. At the recent Microsoft Management Summit, "Microsoft seemed pretty far along with Monad and was talking freely about its capabilities." - Microsoft analyst Peter Pawlak