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Chapter 1. Before you begin > Why you can’t afford to ignore PowerShell

1.1. Why you can’t afford to ignore PowerShell

Batch. KiXtart. VBScript. Let’s face it; Windows PowerShell isn’t exactly Microsoft’s (or anyone else’s) first effort at providing automation capabilities to Windows administrators. I think it’s valuable to understand why you should care about PowerShell, so that you can feel comfortable that the time you’ll commit to learning it will pay off for you. Let’s start by considering what life was like before PowerShell came along, and look at some of the advantages now that we have our new shell.

Life without PowerShell

Windows administrators have always been happy clicking around in the graphical user interface (GUI) to accomplish their chores. After all, the GUI is pretty much the whole point of Windows—the operating system isn’t called “Text,” after all! GUIs are great because they enable you to discover what you can do. I remember the first time I opened Active Directory Users and Computers: I hovered over icons and read tooltips, I pulled down menus, and I right-clicked things, all to see what was available. GUIs definitely make learning a tool easier. Unfortunately, GUIs have zero return on that investment. If it takes you five minutes to create a new user in Active Directory (and assuming you’re filling in a lot of the fields, that’s pretty reasonable), you’ll never get any faster than that. A hundred users will take five hundred minutes—there’s no way, short of learning to type and click a bit faster, to make the process go any quicker.


  

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