The latest version of the new Microsoft Command Shell (MSH), hopefully due to appear sometime in the future (but don't hold your breath) has been released on schedule to a select group of invited developers. MSH will give the Windows command line the same level of versatility that is found in the UNIX command line, and will remove the last vestiges of MS-DOS from Windows. However, it's not looking likely that MSH will make it into Longhorn, the next version of Windows.

This will probably lead to increased speculation that MSH will not be ready for public release in time for the first shipments of Longhorn - the next edition of Windows, whose last explicitly reported window of possible release had been the second half of 2006, but which may conceivably slip into 2007. However, Microsoft spokespersons have confirmed that the MSH project is progressing on its own schedule, thereby denying reports elsewhere that MSH will not be ready for Longhorn. In fact, a thorough scan of the current MSH literature suggests that MSH is being readied for use with Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, implying that MSH may already have an installed base and a following of administrators prior to Longhorn's launch.