Windows PowerShell on ARM

This is a short post…because I am feeling as if I’ve neglected this blog for too long and because I’ve found something that’s fun to speculate about.

This blog has been my outlet since 2006 — and I intend to keep it going until I have nothing left to say. You all know that’s unlikely in the extreme for me. The problem is time. With client work crushing me in the last half of 2022 and now a new client in 2023 I just haven’t had the time to blog. I’ve got an interesting idea in the back of my mind for an interesting technical post — I just need to make it happen.

In the meantime, join me in pondering the screenshot below.

It was taken on an Apple M1 Mac Studio running Parallels and Windows 11 ARM 22H2. It demonstrates that Microsoft ships old-school Windows PowerShell 5.1 as a native ARM app!

Windows PowerShell 5.1 on ARM is a native app (click to enlarge)

I take this to mean that Microsoft is serious about Windows 11 ARM in ways most of us who use Windows all the time didn’t believe they were. Is Microsoft intending to make it easy to deploy Windows 11 ARM in the enterprise? Maybe they will be offering large companies ARM as a desktop deployment on their enterprise agreement licensing terms. Or maybe, and even more likely, we are looking at the future of Windows 365. Whatever is happening, Microsoft clearly isn’t relegating Windows 11 ARM to low-power, LTE-connected type devices.

Really, the only use these days for Windows PowerShell 5.1 — given the power and compatibility of PowerShell 7.x — is for old-school administrators and for compatibility in large deployments. By shipping an ARM version of Windows PowerShell, Microsoft is enabling all those scripts that still require Windows PowerShell to, for example, set-up and domain-join an enterprise desktop.

Interesting to speculate on, no?


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