// NEWS // Windows Has Versatile New Open-Source Terminal
Microsoft has announced a new Windows command-line tool called Windows Terminal, a modern terminal application for developers using the Command Prompt, PowerShell and the Windows 10 Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).
Microsoft has unveiled the Windows Terminal at its Build 2019 conference for developers. This year Azure is the star of the event and, in the company’s cloud-first world, Microsoft is showing off more love for Linux. Redmond’s company has released its own Linux kernel for Windows 10 for WSL 2.0.
The Linux kernel will provide developers with faster Linux boot times and optimize memory when using Linux distributions via WSL.
Microsoft has released the source code of the Windows Terminal on GitHub alongside its existing Windows Console Host, aka conhost.exe, the original Windows command-line app.
Console Host's main mission now that Windows Terminal is available is backward-compatibility with existing console subsystem applications. Windows Terminal installs and runs on the Windows Console.
The main features of Windows Terminal are multiple tabs and support for «beautiful text», which includes emoji support and much faster text rendering.
With multiple tabs, developers will be able to open tabs to connect to a command-line shell or app, whether it’s Command Prompt, PowerShell Core, Ubuntu, openSUSE, Debian, Raspberry Pi via SSH, etc.
Faster text rendering is done through a DirectWrite/ DirectX text rendering engine based on a graphical processor.
"This new text-rendering engine will display text characters, glyphs, and symbols present within fonts on your PC, including CJK ideograms, emoji, powerline symbols, icons, programming ligatures, etc. This engine also renders text much faster than the previous Console's GDI engine," noted Kayla Cinnamon, a Microsoft program manager for Windows Console, Command-Line and WSL.
Microsoft plans to continue delivering the Windows console within the Windows Terminal "for decades" in order to support legacy applications and systems.
Windows Terminal will be offered to developers via the Microsoft Store application on Windows 10. However, developers can clone the GitHub repository and create their own copy.
The first versions should be available in the Microsoft Store this summer and Windows Terminal version 1.0 should arrive by the end of the year.
Cinnamon explains that Microsoft chose to open-source Windows Console instead of contributing to an existing open-source project because its requirements would have been too disruptive.
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