Microsoft continued its dizzying pace of Windows Terminal development with a major update of its open source command line over the weekend.
The preview code reached 0.3, and we take a look at version 0.3.2142.0, which can currently be found in the dying Microsoft store. The release can also be obtained on GitHub if downloading the store is simply not your thing.
Two changes will capture the attention of new and old users alike.
The first is cosmetic and represents a cleanliness of the interface. It's something small, but significant: the icon to add a new command shell tab along with the profile drop-down menu has moved to the right of the last tab. He had previously deviated to the right of the window's title bar.
It's more consistent with the way browsers like Chrome or Chromium Edge work, so it feels much more natural.
While we're not sure that the Settings screen (as it is, more on that later) really belongs to the drop-down menu next to the Add button, that menu includes an additional feature to please the faithful: Azure Cloud Shell . The Windows Terminal was already compatible with PowerShell, WSL and good old-fashioned cmd, so adding Azure Shell is a logical step.
Setting it up is a simple matter of giving a code to Microsoft's cloud services to authenticate the session and select a tenant to drop into the world of the Azure command line interface.
He is both impressively skilled and a bit clumsy. There is some joy in manipulating Azure resources from a tab in the Windows Terminal, but an occasional delay in keyboard input and a propensity to lock if ignored for a few minutes hides the nature of very early preview of things .
"Slick but clunky" is a useful phrase to describe the rest of the update. Accessibility improvements abound along with key combination adjustments. Console riders have even more customization options, including the ability to define the tab title of each profile, but it does not take much effort to discover that the team is not joking about the "preview".
While it is now possible to move the window by dragging it from anywhere in the title bar, resize that window and marvel at how the tabs are hidden without indicating that there may be more lurking to the right. If you are very lucky, Windows Terminal may simply fall into shock in the face of such mischief.
And frankly, one should not have to carefully edit a .json file to take advantage of those customization features.
However, and we cannot emphasize this enough, this is a confessed preview that indicates where Microsoft is going with its terminal technology, so at the moment it can be greatly reduced. While clearly not ready for production, that shell with tabs is still hard to resist, personalization demons can spend happy hours playing with the interface and Azure CLI fans will enjoy the cloud connector.
Once, of course, it works. ®
Balancing consumerization and corporate control