Microsoft announced this week that it is updating the colors used by the Windows Console for the first time in over 20 years.
Yes, this is the environment used by Command Prompt, the command line interface that many probably still think of as “DOS.” It’s also used by PowerShell and the Windows Subsystem for Linux.
“The default color values have been changed to improve legibility of darker colors on modern screens, and to give the Console a more modern look and feel,” Microsoft’s Craig Loewen explains. “We actually tweaked all of the colors.”
According to Loewen, this rarely-touched part of Windows needed to be updated to accommodate modern display technology such as “nano-scale” 4K displays. But the reality is that the Windows Console was last updated, from a color palette perspective, back when CRT displays were the norm. So it’s not particularly well-suited for any LCD-style display, regardless of its age.
You can test this new Windows Console in Windows 10 Insider Preview build 16257, which arrived last night. With one caveat: If you upgrade to this build, as most will, you’ll still see the “legacy” console (a hilarious redundancy, when you think about it). To get the new console, you need to do a clean install. So unless Microsoft ships that ISOs, that probably means upgrading and then resetting for now.
They did this to preserve users’ console color customizations, by the way. But Microsoft says it will soon publish a tool that will help you apply the new color schemes to Windows Console.