Microsoft Releases Preview Version Of Windows Terminal App
Following the earlier release of its code on GitHub, Microsoft has released the first preview version of the Windows Terminal app. It is now ready to download from the Windows Store for free. (Photo: Photo: Windows Developer | YouTube)

Microsoft demoed a new approach on terminal use at the recent Build 2019, and this week the first preview of the app called Windows Terminal made its debut at the Microsoft Store. Yes, it's free, ready to download and promises a tabbed console experience that brings together three key developer features.

That would be the Command Prompt, the PowerShell, and the Windows Subsystem for Linux that previously have been made available to the public via GitHub. Essentially, the app waiting to be downloaded is the easy installer version, according to The Verge.

Even in its preview phase, the app is already feature-rich. As mentioned, the Terminal fully supports working on multiple tabs, and there are customization settings that will suit the preference of specific developers. The theme, for instance, is designed for some form of adjustments.

But to start on the tweaking mission, the Terminal requires edit works on the JSON file as the current release is still in beta phase, meaning certain functionalities have been locked to the average users. When the editing has been applied, users can replace the solid black background with an image of their choosing.

Also part of the latest release is support for GPU-based text rendering, emoji, Unicode and UTF-8 character.

Users will need to keep in mind too that as a preview release, they can expect several usability issues and "most notably the lack of support for assistive technology."

The Windows Terminal features are ready to use right after the app installation, but for the more adventurous, they can head out to the GitHub repository where the code can be accessed and built up. For those choosing this path, the Windows Console Host code likewise awaits for them, ZDNet said in a related report.

The Console Host, known as well as the original Windows command-line app, is designed to run side-by-side with the Windows Terminal and is most useful for backward compatibility purposes.

Microsoft said the app in its current form "is the first of several preview releases to the Microsoft Store," which indicates that several previews will be seen in the coming before the rollout of the first version's final cut.

Work is now underway to create "a consistent schedule that offers regular previews and more frequent builds for those who want to get access to the latest features as they arrive."

It is estimated that the Windows Terminal team will complete the app between November and December 2019. Per Microsoft: "Windows Terminal 1.0 will arrive in the Microsoft Store this winter."

And it bears reminding that the app will only work on PCs running the latest Microsoft OS flagship, meaning users will need to install first the Windows 10 May 2019 Update or Version 1903 before taking the plunge on the Windows Terminal.