back to article CMD.EXE gets first makeover in 20 years in new Windows 10 build

Microsoft's making over the Windows Console, the tool that throws up a command line interface and which has hung around in Windows long after DOS was sent to the attic and told not to show itself in polite company. The company's revealed that in Windows 10 build 16257 the Console will get new … colours. Yup, that's all. …

  1. Marco van de Voort

    Blue seems brighter

    Hmm, my Turbo Pascal(*) editor's background will get brighter, don't know if that is comfortable.

    (*) well, the Free Pascal imitation

  2. Simon Harris Silver badge

    Re: Blue seems brighter

    That brings back memories - I haven't used Turbo Pascal since the 80s!

  3. DropBear Silver badge
    Coat

    Re: Blue seems brighter

    Ha! It's nothing but a thinly veiled attempt to bolster the productivity of Windows programmers (or cut the coffee expenses of their employers), pushing them to stay up and work further on into the night - blue light _allegedly_ prevents you from sleeping after all... Now, where that tin foil hat...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft's Line of Command...

    Nothing is Black and White regards Microsoft's Line of Command, it's always been a shady grey.

  5. SharpOB
    Trollface

    Re: Microsoft's Line of Command...

    Yep, they don't let users use white at all.

  6. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Re: Blue seems brighter

    blue is like 15% luminosity or something like that, so "brighter blue" would be easier to read, especially if you're old...

    I'm glad MS is brightening up the default colors. Now, will this be done with gnome/mate shells, too? default colors on THEM are like the old CMD defaults. I'm always forced to "unalias ls" and "unalias grep" and things like that to get rid of the colorized trext, because I CANNOT READ THAT DAMNED COLORIZED TEXT half the time (dark blue or dark purple on black - what dim-bulb thought THAT was a good idea?).

    It's *IRRITATING*.

    So a big well-deserved KUDOS to Microsoft <--- spelling their name properly when they do something right

  7. Mage Silver badge

    They are bonkers

    “The legacy default scheme was not built for modern displays and does not render as well on newer high-contrast LCD displays.”

    This is complete gibberish.

  8. Peter2 Silver badge

    Re: They are bonkers

    Yes, it is.

    Personally however, I only use the classic black & light white command prompt. It never had colours when we had black and white monitors, so why change now? ;)

    Or maybe that's just very 1980's of me. Personally, i'd prefer that the engineering time was put into something i'd notice such as putting the start menu into server 2012 as an alternative to the mobile phone interface.

  9. collinsl

    Re: They are bonkers

    Don't you mean black and green monitors?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: They are bonkers

    absoblinkenlutely.

    Black and white is the way to go with CMD. You don't get much higher contrast than that. The only "features" that are ever used is occasionally font size and copy and paste.

  11. Simon Harris Silver badge

    Re: They are bonkers

    "black and green monitors?"

    As opposed to green and black monitors which are made out of chocolate.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: They are bonkers

    black and green? Surely teletypes only uses black and white (with a red border when the paper needs repalcing) ... and what is this "monitor" you speak of?

  13. DropBear Silver badge

    Re: They are bonkers

    Maybe, but the point is valid - did you take a look at the image in the article? I can confirm the new "dark"-blue-on-black test is readable, but the old one definitely has a "something's there but I have no idea if it's even letters" quality to it, uniquely among the rest of the colours...

  14. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
    Happy

    Re: They are bonkers

    If I'm getting a chocolate monitor then I don't want any of this crappy, modern LCD stuff. I want a 30" CRT made of solid chocolate. I want to get my money's worth.

    Now to find a fridge large enough to fit it in.

    Oh and I'd better book some more gym sessions, so I can lift it.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: They are bonkers

    You have ordered your 30", but the "New Improved recipe" means it is now 27".

  16. Symon Silver badge
    Alien

    Re: They are bonkers

    "Surely teletypes only uses black and white"

    With a golf ball, right?

    https://youtu.be/slYW7kkHyI4

  17. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Re: 30" → 27"

    I blame Brexit.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: The New Improved Recipe

    But the packaging iand the price s still the same size as the 30" thing.

    Shrinkflation at its best.

  19. Tim99 Silver badge

    Re: They are bonkers

    @colinsl

    Some of us paid extra to get black and amber - Very nice on a VT220.

  20. Flakk Silver badge

    Re: They are bonkers

    Some of us paid extra to get black and amber - Very nice on a VT220.

    Way, way back in the day I had a NetWare server with a bad VGA monitor. The green pin went out on the connector, leaving only red and blue active. I called it my "purple monochrome" monitor.

  21. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

    Re: They are bonkers

    black and white monitors

    Pah. We had sparkly yellow and green ones! So there!

  22. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

    Re: They are bonkers

    I want a 30" CRT

    Well - I have an old 21" Sun monitor at home. Not made of chocolate though. Although I can confirm that the solid wood table it's on groaned when I put it in place..

    And the degaussing pulse on switch-on can make my smartphone go funny.

  23. Lord_Beavis
    Joke

    Re: They are bonkers

    "And the degaussing pulse on switch-on can make my smartphone go funny."

    Not to mention sweet old Mrs. Johnson's pace maker next door...

  24. Orv Silver badge

    Re: They are bonkers

    It might be explained poorly, but it meshes with my experience running Emacs in Linux text terminals. The dark blue portions of syntax highlighting are extremely hard to read on an LCD that's adjusted for proper photo and video viewing. I actually think the problem may be the opposite of what they say -- LCDs tend to compress the dark end of the contrast range, losing detail in the shadows. CRTs, with their truer blacks, had a wider range.

  25. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge

    Re: They are bonkers

    Looking at the pictures the first impression is that most color combinations have better contrast in the old scheme, but maybe I lack a new high-contrast LCD display.

  26. Mage Silver badge

    Re: They are bonkers

    Mine was set to nearly black and light amber, or vice versa, I forget, like the nice Amber CRTs that superseded Green CRTs. I stopped using it last November 2016. Quite happy with customisation of Mate on Linux Mint.

    The only thing ever that was a problem was some sorts of CGA cards stuck on Slug Death colors (black, cyan, magenta, white). There was a nicer alternate (black, red, yellow, green). It was horrid going to shiny CGA from a matte ACT Sirius 1 (800 x 400?) mono (Victor 9000). The Sirius 1 arrived marginally before the IBM PC, with its Text only or CGA. Hercules mono (720x350) was later and still inferior to ACT Sirius 1/Victor 9000 (as was entire IBM PC), but better than CGA Mono 640 x 200.

    Why don't they simply fix their broken & totally flat GUI to one suitable for a laptop or desktop? Which is ALSO better for 10" tablet with keyboard than their stupid GUI for a 4" phone.

  27. Orv Silver badge

    Re: They are bonkers

    I suspect they're mostly focusing on the contrast between foreground colors and a black background, since that's the most common situation. The slightly lighter blues make a big difference in that scenario.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: They are bonkers

    if you are running Emacs with Syntax highlighting you are

    1) Not getting the full unadulterated experience of Emacs. Like good chocolate, Emacs should be used in as a raw a state as possible, just the way Stallman intended.

    2) You identify yourself as a newbie (e.g. someone with less experience than say 25 years) with Emacs.

    You might as well say you're a VB fan running code in a MS IDE and have done with it.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: They are bonkers

    I suspect they're mostly focusing on the contrast between foreground colors and a black background, since that's the most common situation. The slightly lighter blues make a big difference in that scenario.

    Maybe Microsoft could do something really useful and make a web browser smart enough to figure out that white-on-light grey text should be rendered as white on black.

  30. Trixr

    Re: They are bonkers

    I dunno, the first thing I do is change the RGB settings on that medium grey they use for the default text to something much lighter. Not having to do that on every new box I log on to would be nice.

  31. Slx

    There are still lots of bits and piece of Windows that could do with a makeover. I still find it odd that a company with the vast resources at Microsoft’s disposal produces an OS that has bits and pieces that look like they’re from decades ago. You’d expect absolute GUI consistency across Windows 10’s own components. Surely it can’t be THAT hard to achieve.

  32. gotes

    I always check the "add font" dialog whenever there's a new Windows release; it's been pretty much the same since the early 90s. As far as I can tell it no longer exists as of Windows 10.

  33. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    Finally... pretty sure it was still in Win 8 though. It was the most pig ugly, barely usable window but was left in since Windows 3.11 - which, IIRC, was the first edition of Windows to support vector fonts natively and killed the entire market in non-core font applications.

  34. DropBear Silver badge
    Facepalm

    "It was the most pig ugly, barely usable window"

    I had the impulse to go check out what you mean - then I remembered I'm on Debian...

  35. boltar Silver badge

    @Six

    "produces an OS that has bits and pieces that look like they’re from decades ago."

    Its not the age thats the problem , after all unix/linux still has plenty of ancient shells and tools which work fine - its the fact that even back in the day the DOS CLI was an underpowered POS that was only really useful for listing directories and starting programs. Doing anything more complicated was either a PITA or impossible. It would have been relatively easy for MS to port one of the *nix shells over to Windows and intergrate it nicely but I suspect Not Invented Here syndrome got the better of them so instead they waited 20 years then came up with powershell which can be rather arcane at the best of times.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If they could make ADUC put the cursor in the Name field of the Find dialog it would save me hours.

    It's been like that since forever, the gripe about it has been passed down from generation to generation, nothing will ever change.

    So the only chance of consistency is if we accept consistently inconsistent, and frequently rubbish.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think that's all part of the game. Over the years that OS has had increased and decreased functionality. The new format makes it easier to decrease functionality and then, at some point, charge to get that functionality back.

    Why I remember when...(old guy, me ;), continues rants as he walks off)

  38. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
    Flame

    "If they could make ADUC put the cursor in the Name field of the Find dialog it would save me hours"

    You know what pisses me of with that thing?

    You right click / find at the top , start typing the name of a person or a PC , or group

    press search , didnt find anything

    Then you realise that for some fucking reason you have to tell the thing which of those you are going to be seaching for (you dont on my command line vbscript replacment i can tell you!)

    So you drop the dropdown , select 'computer' and you're eager to get going buts its popped up a little dialog saying "This will clear your current search results" Well no fucking shit! when has any other application that has a search function (which is most) thought it neccassary to say that??? so you waste more time clicking ok on that , and start typing again .

    Then you realise that despite informing the app that you are indeed ready to start a new search , and that you are aware this will wipe previous results THE CURSOR ISNT IN THE FUCKING SEARCH BOX!!!

    That added to the fact that no wildcards are allowed , so you have to know the exact prefix for the group / pc that some sysadmin pulled out of his arse years ago makes me conclude :

    "Could do better"

    In fact given a day or 2 I could probably do better

    In fact i bet people already have....

  39. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

    Re: @Six

    MS to port one of the *nix shells over to Windows and intergrate it nicely but I suspect Not Invented Here syndrome got the better of them

    Or, more likely, the fact that most of the decent shells are licenced un GPL and, as such, a cancer that must be eradicated^W embraced and extinguished.

  40. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    You’d expect absolute GUI consistency across Windows 10’s own components. Surely it can’t be THAT hard to achieve

    Don't ask. They'll just turn it ALL into their spastic crayon-y shit.

  41. Sven Coenye

    Indeed. The Win10 syskey dialog still has what looks like the Win 95 logo in it.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: @Six

    "It would have been relatively easy for MS to port one of the *nix shells over to Windows and intergrate it nicely"

    Ubuntu is in the Windows Store...

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There are still lots of bits and piece of Windows that could do with a makeover. I still find it odd that a company with the vast resources at Microsoft’s disposal produces an OS that has bits and pieces that look like they’re from decades ago. You’d expect absolute GUI consistency across Windows 10’s own

    components. Surely it can’t be THAT hard to achieve.

    True, if they could just jettison all Windows 8 GUI code, return Aero, remove all "Apps", get rid of "Settings," that would be a start.

  44. Phil W Silver badge

    What's the point?

    Not sure why they've done this, surely it would have just been easier to retire it and replace it with Powershell. There's already a tickbox somewhere in Win10 to do exactly that.

    As far as I'm aware anything that works in a command prompt work in Powershell?

  45. Beech Horn

    Re: What's the point?

    Agreed, everything works, but it's slower. Makes a difference when thousands of lines of text are flying past. There are programs which are bottlenecked by the speed of stdout. Maybe just put cmd.exe in the Windows Store...

  46. jaywin

    Re: What's the point?

    > Not sure why they've done this, surely it would have just been easier to retire it and replace it with Powershell.

    Console windows are used by lots of things other than the command prompt.

  47. John Riddoch

    Re: What's the point?

    "Console windows are used by lots of things other than the command prompt." yup - you'll find things getting launched as "cmd.exe /s [something]". Yes, it's probably just laziness, but in many cases, it's effective and simple and simple means less likely to have bugs.

  48. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

    Re: What's the point?

    Nope. Powershell does not work the same way as cmd.exe, it's similar, but cmd scripting doesn't work the same.

    It's possibly time to make Powershell the default command line in Windows, but cmd.exe shouldn't be retired.

  49. LDS Silver badge

    Re: What's the point?

    Ugh, no, PowerShell needs to load the .NET runtime, cmd.exe is much, much faster. And Win32 console application are too.

  50. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    Re: What's the point?

    Personally I'm of the opinion that they should just go all-in on bash support. cmd.exe can stay around for legacy support if needed, but is kinda optional. PowerShell, on the other hand, should be given the Old Yeller treatment, as soon as possible. It's kind of the worst of all possible worlds.

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