The Next Release of PowerShell – PowerShell 7

Steve Lee

Steve

Recently, the PowerShell Team shipped the Generally Available (GA) release of PowerShell Core 6.2. Since that release, we’ve already begun work on the next iteration!

We’re calling the next release PowerShell 7, the reasons for which will be explained in this blog post.

Why 7 and not 6.3?

PowerShell Core usage has grown significantly in the last two years. In particular, the bulk of our growth has come from Linux usage, an encouraging statistic given our investment in making PowerShell viable cross-platform.  This chart represents the number of times pwsh.exe (or just pwsh on Linux/macOS) was started (unless telemetry was disabled).

image

However, we also can clearly see that our Windows usage has not been growing as significantly, surprising given that PowerShell was popularized on the Windows platform. We believe that this could be occurring because existing Windows PowerShell users have existing automation that is incompatible with PowerShell Core because of unsupported modules, assemblies, and APIs. These folks are unable to take advantage of PowerShell Core’s new features, increased performance, and bug fixes. To address this, we are renewing our efforts towards a full replacement of Windows PowerShell 5.1 with our next release.

This means that Windows PowerShell and PowerShell Core users will be able to use the same version of PowerShell to automate across Windows, Linux, and macOS and on Windows, and PowerShell 7 users will have a very high level of compatibility with Windows PowerShell modules they rely on today.

We’re also going to take the opportunity to simplify our references to PowerShell in documentation and product pages, dropping the “Core” in “PowerShell 7”. The PSEdition will still reflect Core, but this will only be a technical distinction in APIs and documentation where appropriate.

Note that the major version does not imply that we will be making significant breaking changes. While we took the opportunity to make some breaking changes in 6.0, many of those were compromises to ensure our compatibility on non-Windows platforms. Prior to that, Windows PowerShell historically updated its major version based on new versions of Windows rather than Semantic Versioning

.NET Core 3.0

PowerShell Core 6.1 brought compatibility with many built-in Windows PowerShell modules, and our estimation is that PowerShell 7 can attain compatibility with 90+% of the inbox Windows PowerShell modules by leveraging changes in .NET Core 3.0 that bring back many APIs required by modules built on .NET Framework so that they work with .NET Core runtime. For example, we expect Out-GridView to come back (for Windows only, though)!

A significant effort for PowerShell 7 is porting the PowerShell Core 6 code base to .NET Core 3.0 and also working with Windows partner teams to validate their modules against PowerShell 7.

Support Lifecycle Changes

Currently, PowerShell Core is under the Microsoft Modern Lifecycle Policy. This means that PowerShell Core 6 is fix-forward: we produce servicing releases for security fixes and critical bug fixes,
and you must install the latest stable version within 6 months of a new minor version release.

In PowerShell 7, we will align more closely with the .NET Core support lifecycle, enabling PowerShell 7 to have both LTS (Long Term Servicing) and non-LTS releases.

We will still have monthly Preview releases to get feedback early.

When do I get PowerShell 7?

The first Preview release of PowerShell 7 will likely be in May. Be aware, however, that this depends on completing integration and validation of PowerShell with .NET Core 3.0.

Since PowerShell 7 is aligned with the .NET Core timeline, we expect the generally available (GA) release to be some time after the GA of .NET Core 3.0.

What about shipping in Windows?

We are planning on eventually shipping PowerShell 7 in Windows as a side-by-side feature with Windows PowerShell 5.1, but we still need to work out some of the details on how you will manage this inbox version of PowerShell 7.

And since the .NET Core timeline doesn’t align with the Windows timeline, we can’t say right now when it will show up in a future version of Windows 10 or Windows Server.

What other features will be in PowerShell 7?

We haven’t closed on our feature planning yet, but expect another blog post relatively soon with a roadmap of our current feature level plans for PowerShell 7.

Steve Lee
https://twitter.com/Steve_MSFT
Principal Engineering Manager
PowerShell Team

Steve Lee
Steve Lee

Principal Software Engineer Manager, PowerShell

Follow Steve   

22 Comments
Avatar
prasoon karunan v 2019-04-05 11:06:54
This is a great update !
Avatar
Jeffrey McClain 2019-04-05 11:12:17
Are there plans to port the "Active Directory module for Windows PowerShell" to work on PowerShell 7 natively, or do I still need to use the compat module?
Avatar
illy Metuky 2019-04-05 11:57:22
That's great news! I was waiting for this version to make the switch to Core, Can't wait for the preview to start testing the migration of my stuff to it. It's perfectly logical that Windows users did not make the switch until now because it was half upgrade half downgrade, but now that Core can hopefully do everything the old version did there is no reason not to switch except for the convenience that it's not pre installed on every system and accessible remotely out of the box.
Avatar
Michael C. Cook Sr 2019-04-05 12:47:58
I can't even make a sensible comment. That's how surprised I am... 'Heroes in a half-shell...' all day every day FTW.
Michael H.
Michael H. 2019-04-05 13:47:30
Can we please add an alias for "sc remove"? The rest of the sc commands are aliased as far as I know, the feature was requested and then denied with no explanation other than "there are no plans to add this feature". It actually doesn't even output an error saying that it didn't do anything or that the Alias doesn't exist. 
Avatar
"Fleet Command" 2019-04-05 21:53:04
On several occasions, I commented in the PowerShell blog and explain why I do not migrate to PowerShell 6. I am in charge of a network of many computers and I need to be able to deploy PowerShell instances remotely, keep them updated, and finally keep the help/documentation updated. And we still have Windows 7 in our environment. (This version of Windows is rock-solid reliable.) And, yes, I need to be able to manage and maintain a WSUS server, Windows file servers, etc.
Avatar
Nachum Ella 2019-04-06 03:04:10
What about DSC? Any news about the new LCM?
Avatar
Piotr Siódmak 2019-04-07 01:44:12
And still no language specification? The last one was for 3.0.
François Racine
François Racine 2019-04-07 07:37:18
SCCM is not supporting Powershell Core and SCCM Posh package are using Windows Powershell. 
Avatar
Dmitriy M 2019-04-07 08:31:11
> side-by-side feature with Windows PowerShell 5.1 Who said Python 2/3 ?
Avatar
Onur Gumus 2019-04-08 00:38:35
Can you suggest any text editor that works for Powershell Core ? Especially in remoting scenarios.
Avatar
Kenneth Benson 2019-04-08 07:08:06
It's been awhile since I've worked with Powershell(retired) but I try to stay updated. Can someone define for me what "inbox version" means in relation to Powershell updates?
Avatar
Alex Neihaus 2019-04-11 15:23:53
What, pray tell, is an "inbox" version of PowerShell? Does that mean I have to email every use of Out-File? I appreciate the openness but recommend less jargon.
Avatar
Joost Kuin 2019-04-12 07:58:36
Although I appreciate Microsoft's effort to support platforms besides Windows, I did not appreciate v6 core for lacking full compatibility with v5.So I'm super relieved to hear v7 bringing back compatibility with previous releases