Windows Terminal to be the default for command line applications in Windows 11

Other terminals welcome


Microsoft is to make its new Windows Terminal the default for command line applications in Windows 11.

For last few years, the default terminal emulator for Windows was the Windows Console Host, conhost.exe, meaning that shells such as the Command Prompt or PowerShell opened up inside it.

The open-source Windows Terminal first showed up at the company's 2019 Build event and is now quite a handy and customisable tool. Command line fans can fiddle with fonts or enable modes to recreate that blurry CRT feeling if they wish. More usefully, over the past few years tabs were added as well as a user interface to save fiddling with JSON files to configure preferences.

In a blog post explaining how to make Windows Terminal the default under Windows 11, Microsoft program manager Kayla Cinnamon said: "Over the course of 2022, we are planning to make Windows Terminal the default experience on Windows 11 devices."

The process will start with Windows Insiders and move on from there.

In the past, it was tricky to change the default console host in Windows (despite the presence of certain third-party tools to make the magic happen), but opening up the setting makes life easier for customers less keen on the current default.

Defaults in Windows 10 and 11 came in for some stick recently, particularly in relation to Microsoft's browser. Over the weekend Vivaldi CEO Jon von Tetzchner complained about the experience of installing and using his company's own browser, from seeing Edge promoted in searches for Vivaldi to increasingly desperate pleas from Microsoft not to shift from Edge as a default.

"It is frustrating in 2021 to find Microsoft blatantly engaging in anti-competitive practices once again," he said.

Still, Edge shenanigans aside, it remains relatively straightforward to switch between console hosts. However, from next year, Windows Terminal will increasingly be the way forward. ®


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