Introducing Windows Terminal

Original author: Kayla Cinnamon, Rich Turner
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Windows Terminal is a new, modern, fast, efficient, powerful, and powerful terminal application for users of command-line tools and shells such as Command Prompt, PowerShell, and WSL.

Windows Terminal will be delivered through the Microsoft Store to Windows 10 and will be updated regularly, ensuring that you will always keep up to date and will be able to use the latest features and the latest improvements with minimal effort.


Key Windows Terminal Features

Multiple tabs

You asked, and we heard! The most frequently requested function for the terminal is support for several tabs, and we are very glad that we were finally able to provide this function. Now you can open any number of tabs, each of which is connected to a command-line shell or application of your choice, for example, Command Prompt, PowerShell, Ubuntu on WSL, Raspberry Pi via SSH, etc.


Beautiful text

Windows Terminal uses DirectWrite / DirectX GPU acceleration based on the text rendering engine. This new text rendering engine will display text characters, glyphs and characters present in fonts on your PC, including CJK ideograms, emojis, powerline symbols, icons, programming ligatures, etc. This engine even renders text much faster than the previous engine GDI console!


You will also have the opportunity to use our new font! We wanted to create a fun, new, monospaced font to improve the modern look of the terminal. This font will not only include programming ligatures, but will also have its own Open-Source repository. Stay tuned for more information about the new font project!


Settings and Configurability

We have contacted many command line users who like to customize their terminals and command line applications. Windows Terminal provides many settings and configuration parameters that give great control over the appearance of the terminal and each of the shells / profiles that can be opened as new tabs. Settings are stored in a structured text file, which simplifies configuration for users and / or tools.

Using the terminal configuration mechanism, you can create several “profiles” for each shell / application / tool that you want to use, be it PowerShell, Command Prompt, Ubuntu, or even SSH connections to Azure or IoT devices. These profiles can have their own combination of font styles and sizes, color themes, background blur / transparency levels, etc. Now you can create your own terminal in your own style, which is personalized to your unique taste!


After the release of Windows Terminal 1.0, we plan to start working with many features that are already in our backlog, in addition to many features that you, as a community, are likely to add!

When can I get it?

Today, Windows Terminal and Windows Console are available in Open-Source, so you can already clone, compile, run and test code from the repository on GitHub:

Also, this summer a preview will be released on the Microsoft Store version of Windows Terminal for pioneers and providing feedback.

And in the winter, we plan to finally release Windows Terminal 1.0, and we will work with the community to make sure that it is fully ready before we release!

[Happy Joy Gif - Giphy]

Wait ... did you say on Open-Source?

Yes it is! We are pleased to announce that we are opening not only the Windows Terminal, but also the Windows Console, which contains the command-line infrastructure in Windows and provides the traditional Console UX.

We are eager to work with you to improve and expand the capabilities of the Windows command line!

That sounds awesome, but why don't you just upgrade the existing Windows Console?

The main goal of the Windows Console is to maintain backward compatibility with existing command line tools, scripts, etc. Although we managed to add many key improvements to the console functionality (for example, add VT support and 24-bit color, etc. see this blog post ), we cannot make further significant improvements to the UI console without “breaking the world.”

Therefore, the time has come for a new, fresh approach.

Windows Terminal installs and works with the existing Windows Console application. If you start Cmd / PowerShell / etc. directly, they will start connecting to the traditional console instance in the same way as usual. Thus, backward compatibility remains unchanged, and at the same time, you can use the Windows Terminal if / when you want to do this. The Windows Console will continue to be shipped to Windows for decades to support existing / legacy applications and systems.

Well, what about participating in an existing terminal project or application in Open-Source?

We carefully studied this option during planning and decided that our participation in an existing project would require a change in the requirements and architecture of the project so that it would be too destructive.

Instead, by creating a new Open-Source terminal application and Open-Source Windows Console, we can offer the community to work with us to improve the code and use it in their respective projects.

We believe that there is enough space on the market for new / different ideas about what the terminal can and should do, and we strive to help the ecosystem of terminal (and related) applications thrive and develop through the introduction of new ideas, interesting approaches and exciting innovations in this space.

Convinced! How to take part?

Visit the repository at to clone, assemble, test and run the terminal! In addition, we will be grateful if you will report bugs and share feedback with us and the community, as well as fix problems and make improvements to GitHub.

This summer, try installing and starting Windows Terminal from the Microsoft Store. If you encounter any errors, share feedback through the Feedback Hub or the Issues section on GitHub, which is designed for questions and discussions.

We are happy to work with you! If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to contact Kayla @cinnamon_msft and / or Rich @richturn_mson Twitter. We are eager to see what great improvements and features you will bring to the Windows Terminal and Windows Console.

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