An updated version of Windows PowerShell Quick Reference is now available for download from Microsoft, having been released the past month. Live on the Microsoft Download Center since April 20th, 2010, the Windows PowerShell Quick Reference is, as the name implies, a free resource offered by the Redmond company to simplify the work of IT professionals leveraging PowerShell. Essentially, the download is designed to provide a quick-reference guide detailing a number of common Windows PowerShell commands.

Whether an IT admin wants to know how to access arguments, solicit input, use colored text, insert comments, print data, change security settings, run a specific script, sort data, create a .NET object, etc., the Windows PowerShell Quick Reference has the answer.

At the same time, the guide offered by Microsoft covers additional commands for PowerShell, and admins should download it, print it and keep in on hand, just in case. “For best results, open the file in Microsoft Word, print the contents to legal-sized paper (8 inches by 14 inches), and fold the resulting printout in half, making a four-page booklet,” Microsoft stated. More »

Following the advent of Windows 7 and PowerShell 2.0, Microsoft has backported the command-line shell and scripting language on older releases of Windows, including Windows Vista SP2 and Windows XP SP3. However, admins looking to take advantage of the evolution in terms of automation for Windows tasks are not able to grab PowerShell 2.0 as a standalone download. Instead, they have access to Windows Management Framework. According to the Redmond company, the Windows Management Framework Core package brings to the table the following components: Windows PowerShell 2.0 and Windows Remote Management (WinRM) 2.0.

Xin Li, Windows PowerShell Team, revealed that some customers had been reporting installation issues related to Windows Management Framework and down-level operating systems. Li indicates that the vast majority of deployment features are reported to produce the following error message “The update does not apply to your system.”

“It is a blocking issue for some customers since they cannot get WMF successfully installed and the error message does not help much with a fix,” Li stated. However, not even Microsoft is offering a fix. Apparently, the installation failures and associated error message is caused by actions taken from the end users, rather than an actual bug in the package. More »