Microsoft Issues Major Update to Windows Terminal

Posted on August 6, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Dev, Windows 10 with 9 Comments

It’s still very much in beta, but the new Windows Terminal received a major update this past week with many new features.

“Windows Terminal Preview v0.3 has been published to the Microsoft Store,” Microsoft’s Kayla Cinnamon announced. “If you have previously installed the Terminal from the Store, you will receive this update automatically. If you’ve not yet installed Terminal from the Microsoft Store, now would be a great time because it contains some MAJOR improvements and updates.”

As you may recall, Microsoft announced at Build 2019 in May that it was creating a next-generation command line environment for Windows 10 called Windows Terminal. “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 noted at the time.

It wasn’t clear in May how Microsoft would deliver Windows Terminal. But in June, it showed up in early pre-release form as a Windows Store app, ending the mystery. (It’s also available on GitHub.)

As for this major release—which, humorously, is version 0.3—it includes the following improvements:

Update user interface. You can drag Windows Terminal around the screen from anywhere on the title bar (just like a real application), and that title bar has a new look with a resized drop-down menu and new colors.

Accessibility improvements. Some of the assistive technology that Microsoft added to Windows Console in Windows 10 version 1703—like Narrator compatibility via a User Interface Automation (UIA) tree—are now available in Terminal too. Microsoft promises many more accessibility updates soon.

New settings. As is the case with Visual Studio Code, Windows Terminal uses a developer-centric, text-based settings interface. And in this new version, there are new settings for custom tab titles and additional background options.

New selection and key bindings. Mouse-based text selection is now more sophisticated and works as it does in other apps so that you can drag the mouse past the window border to scroll the text as you select more of it. And you can now map “OEM keys”—{}_+-=|/?<>:”;’—within key bindings.

Azure Cloud Shell Connector support. Windows Terminal can now connect to the Azure Cloud Shell, “a browser-based command-line experience hosted in the cloud that gives you access to your files and projects stored within Azure.” With this new support, you can now directly connect to Azure files through the Windows Terminal on your desktop. You can learn more about this feature here.

Documentation links. The Windows Terminal About box now includes links to the product’s Getting Started, Documentation, and Release Notes pages on GitHub.

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