Difference Between PowerShell and CMD

Command Line Interpreter (CLI) is how a command entered by a user can be interpreted by the Operating System (OS).


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There was no such interactive interface in the earliest computers. Later, interfaces like CMD and PowerShell were developed.

These gave users control over the system and the ability to execute and run tasks.

Key Takeaways

  1. PowerShell is a powerful scripting language and automation framework developed by Microsoft, offering extensive capabilities for managing Windows systems and automating tasks.
  2. CMD, or Command Prompt, is a Windows command-line interface for executing basic commands, batch files, and simple system management tasks.
  3. The key distinction between PowerShell and CMD is their capabilities and functionality, with PowerShell being a more advanced scripting language and automation tool. At the same time, CMD offers a simpler command-line interface for basic tasks.

PowerShell vs CMD

PowerShell is a programming language that was created by James Truher in November 2006, and it is used to activate control functions on the windows operating system and other applications. CMD, aka Command processor, is the interface on windows that are used to execute commands and debugging.

PowerShell vs CMD 1

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Command Prompt (CMD) is the command-line interpreter already available in Windows. It is a string-based interface that processes commands in batch files. It is the most standard interface having a set of functions.

It can perform essential functions like deleting, copying, and pasting. It is best used for debugging problems.

PowerShell was developed after the Command Prompt (CMD). It is much more potent as it has a variety of functions that widen its scope and give it an edge over the Command Prompt (CMD). These include not only running tasks but also automating general tasks. PowerShell’s functions are known as cmdlets. It also is an object-oriented scripting language. This is because its output is not like Command Prompt (CMD).


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonPowerShellCMD
MeaningIt is a scripting language that is specifically designed for the administrators of the system.It is the command-based interface that allows interaction with the operating system.
PowerPowerShell tends to have more powerful functions. These are called cmdlets.It is an older language and has a set of standard functions.
BasisIt is a task-based command interface.It is a string-based command interface.
IntroductionJames Truher developed PowerShell.Therese Stowell developed CMD
UseIt helps to perform control functions for the Windows OS and the applications. It also has scope for automation.It helps to execute the commands that are given. It is generally used for debugging problems.
OutputIts output is a collection of Objects.Its output is a stream of characters.


What is PowerShell?

PowerShell is a scripting language developed by James Truher in November 2006. It can execute tasks which are not accessible from CMD.

It is just a better version of CMD and very powerful. It can perform many tasks, run external programs, and even automate many administration tasks.

Its set of commands is built on .net format. Its scripts are called “cmdlets”, which are super easy to use and have a standardized syntax.

This enables the administrators to create powerful scripts using PowerShell.

It can interpret both PowerShell and Batch commands. It is a task-based system that gives output in terms of objects, unlike CMD, which provides work in the form of text.

This is because it is also called an object-oriented program.

It also supports different names for the same commands. This is why it is straightforward for users to switch to PowerShell because they have been using some other interface.

It has a broader scope than CMD because it is developed to execute and run many applications and even automate them.

It can also replace CMD as it has more control over the operation system. It enables users to solve their tedious tasks very quickly and efficiently.


What is CMD?

Windows Command Processor (CMD) is the administrator’s default interface to communicate with the operating system.

It was first released in December 1987 and developed by Therese Stowell. It is a string-based interface that has a standard set of functions.

Command Prompt (CMD) is a command-line interpreter.

It usually does tasks for batch files and is often called cmd.exe. It helps to execute essential functions such as copying, deleting, and pasting.

Initially, it was launched under the Command Line Interpreter (CLI) name. It can be accessed using the shortcut in Start Menu and cmd in the Run command.

COMMAND.COM preceded it. It helps the user interaction using the command-line interface and pipes in the pipeline.

It is generally used for debugging problems because it performs fundamental functions. It gives output in the form of text, i.e., characters.


Main Differences Between PowerShell and CMD

  1. PowerShell is a task-based scripting language. In contrast, CMD is a string-based communication interface.
  2. James Truher developed PowerShell. On the other hand, CMD was developed by Therese Stowell.
  3. PowerShell has potent functions known as cmdlets. However, CMD only has a standard set of parts.
  4. PowerShell allows controlling the windows OS and the applications. It also provides automation. On the other hand, CMD is usually made use of when errors are to be debugged.
  5. PowerShell’s output consists of objects, unlike CMD’s production, which consists of text (characters).
Difference Between PowerShell and CMD

  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=3m36lLfgJ7UC&oi=fnd&pg=PT24&dq=PowerShell+and+CMD&ots=eUSYOkb8m0&sig=seXn5nH6Pd9SjVlXdR6nabMXspA
  2. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1115672
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