In summary, this chapter has served as an introduction to what a shell is, where shells came from, how to use a shell, and how to create a basic shell script. While learning these aspects about shells, you have also learned why scripting is so important to systems administrators. As you have come to discover, scripting enables systems administrators to automate repetitive tasks. In doing so, task automation enables systems administrators to perform their jobs more effectively, freeing them to perform more important business-enhancing tasks.
In addition to learning about shells, you have also been introduced to what PowerShell is and why PowerShell was needed. As explained, PowerShell is the replacement to WSH, which, although it was powerful, had a number of shortcomings (security and interoperability being the most noteworthy). PowerShell was also needed because Windows lacked a viable CLI that could be used to easily complete complex automation tasks. The end result for replacing WSH and improving on the Windows CLI, is PowerShell, which is built around the .NET Framework and brings a much needed injection of backbone to the world of Windows scripting and automation. Lastly, the key new features of PowerShell 2.0 CTP2 were reviewed at a high level, with detailed analysis of these new capabilities to be provided in subsequent chapters.