Build 2019: Windows 10 to Pick Up Tabbed Terminal, More

Posted on May 6, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Dev, Windows 10 with 24 Comments

Today at its Build 2019 developer show, Microsoft announced several coming improvements to Windows 10. These are mostly developer-focused, but several will be of interest to power users and even general users as well.

They are:

Windows Terminal. Microsoft’s next-generation command line environment will support GPU-powered text rending, emojis, and multiple tabs. “Windows Terminal will elevate the command-line user experience on Windows, delivering a powerful environment for users of PowerShell, Cmd, Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) and all forms of command-line application,” Microsoft notes. It’s expected to arrive in mid-June, so it’s not clear if it’s an Insider feature, perhaps for Windows 19H2, or something external to Windows.

Windows Subsystem for Linux 2. The next-generation version of WSL will address the top customer requests for improved performance and compatibility. It will offer up to twice the speed of today’s WSL for “file-system heavy operations” and will support running Linux Docker containers. It will also arrive in mid-June.

React Native for Windows. A new implementation of React Native for Windows will let developers who prefer this ecosystem to user-experience components on Windows. It is being developed on GitHub, Microsoft notes, and developers can use it now in pre-release form.

Microsoft Identity improvements. The Microsoft Identity platform is picking up a new app registration experience, new Microsoft Authentication Libraries, and support for Android, iOS, and web (JavaScript).

The most interesting bit there, of course, is the tabbed-based Terminal, which explains recent news around tabs in command line environments. Or perhaps the timing.

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Comments (24)

24 responses to “Build 2019: Windows 10 to Pick Up Tabbed Terminal, More”

  1. lvthunder

    I wonder if the new terminal will support SSH so I don't need to use putty anymore.

  2. christian.hvid

    A bit disappointing that they continue to choose React Native over Flutter. But Microsoft has had an affinity for React/React Native for years now, possibly due to the fact that Facebook isn't a direct competitor.

  3. hrlngrv

    If a new tabbed terminal weren't built into Windows, would it be possible to have both the traditional, untabbed and new tabbed terminals? How would one select which one to use?

  4. truerock

    So... to me this sounds like maybe someone at Microsoft has a clue.

    Yes, the vast majority of Windows users do not want to have anything to do with an operatring system. They essentially want the operating system to be invisible and unobtrusive as they use the applications they want to use. If Windows users are constantly aware of the existence of Windows - then Microsoft screwed up.

    But, there are others who do work on the Windows operating system - and, things like command line, WSL, PowerShell, Notepad, Windows Settings, Device Manager, etc are important. So, all of things in Paul's article sound like good things, Although the emoji thing I do not understand and seems weird.

    Now if Microsoft could pull their head out and fix Notepad with tabs, hex/octal, line numbers, etc... then I'd start to think they wouldn't have flunked out of my OS college course.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to truerock:

      Me, I figure Notepad should remain the GUI moral equivalent of EDLIN. If you want anything beyond basic plain text editing, there are lots of free and commercial 3rd party alternatives. There's also VS Code.

    • Rob_Wade

      In reply to truerock:

      If that's true, then why is there so much effort around Fluent and all the superficial aspects of Windows? Personally, I hate all the fluff--I despised Aero and I feel the same about Fluent--but I'm the exception, apparently. I see post after post from people demanding more fluff.

      And why the heck would you have emoji on a command line interface? Sheesh.

      • justme

        In reply to Rob_Wade:

        You may be an exception, but you arent alone. I neither understand the hoopla around Fluent nor care about it. To me, Fluent seems like a waste of time and resources. While I dont hate Aero, I am very "meh" about it.

        As far as the emojis go - I'm completely with you there. Though I did read (might even have been here at Thurrott) that one of the reasons terminal got emoji support is that there are some programs/apps/databases/genericTHING which you could send a command via terminal to that allows emojis as part of a user name - which just seems silly to me.

  5. Bill Strong


    Ok, I'm stumped. Why does the command line need emoji support?

    Obviously you have never used Oh My Bash/Fish/etc.

    Developers that use the command line customize it using emojis to five them clues about the state of the git directory they are in, to tell them what directory they are in, and output responses with shorthand for other commands

    Also, you need emojis for your twitter feed. :)

    • warren

      In reply to Bill_Strong:

      Also worth mentioning that supporting emoji means that the terminal also supports more then 16 colours (which is a positively barbaric limitation in 2019), and current-generation Unicode specs. A big focus for Unicode these days is the ability to represent ancient and rare languages on computers. Unicode 10 added more than 8,000 characters, only about 60 of which were emoji.

  6. jgraebner

    Ok, I'm stumped. Why does the command line need emoji support?

  7. kshsystems

    I have tried to use SSH from powershell / CMD, but the emulation is still to inaccurate to be useable. Hopefully the new "Windows Terminal" addresses this

  8. RobCannon

    There is currently SSH support in Windows 10. WSL or from CMD.

  9. chrisrut

    Windows Terminal tabs etc.: That's really cool. Not cool enough to get me to un-retire, but cool.

    Same for the identity improvements; those have broad ramifications - perhaps even cross-OS program execution within one environment.