Difference between PowerShell and CMD

The history of "batch file scripting" can be traced all the way back to 1981, when the first version of MS-DOS was made available as an operating system for IBM personal computers. It was essentially a copy of the CP/M operating system that was developed by Digital Research. CP/M was one of the very first computer operating systems. Microsoft built it so that it could run on IBM PCs, operating as both the kernel and the shell, and it also included several functionalities that are seen in other shells.

Over the years, Microsoft has released multiple versions of DOS, which has resulted in numerous enhancements to the batch files. Next up is Windows, which was initially an application but rapidly expanded into a full-fledged operating system.

In its Windows NT family of operating systems, Microsoft included a command line interpreter known as "Command Prompt" (or "cmd") that used basically the same commands as the Command.com but also contained additional functionality. This expanded 32-bit command line interpreter made the batch language more usable due to the many enhancements and extra functionality.

Earlier versions of the software would only permit a BAT file to be launched under the MS-DOS prompt. However, the command line interpreter was not able to guarantee consistency since it was not possible to utilise them to automate the many different functionalities of the GUI.

Power users were left unsatisfied because of its insufficient strength. Therefore, Microsoft began working on a new method of command line administration, and in 2002, they ultimately produced a new and improved command line interface known as "Monad." It was successful in overcoming the problems that plagued its predecessor. By the year 2005, Microsoft had already launched three different variations of the Monad programme. The name was officially changed to "Windows PowerShell" in 2006, which marked the end of the era of scripting using batch files.

What is PowerShell?

PowerShell is a more advanced version of the command that is used to launch external applications like ping or copy as well as automate a wide variety of system management activities that are not accessible from the command prompt.

  • PowerShell is very similar to the Command Prompt (cmd), except that it's more powerful and uses whole new commands. It is not just a shell; rather, it is an environment for scripting that was developed expressly for system administrators to use in order to carry out administrative responsibilities across numerous operating systems.
  • PowerShell is a task-based command-line tool and scripting language that was built on the Dot Net framework. It executes a fairly extensive collection of commands within the context of automation scripts known as "cmdlets," which makes it possible to administer Windows-based systems. Additionally, they are simple to use and have a defined syntax, which makes it simple to construct sophisticated scripts using them.
  • PowerShell is a command line interpreter that is significantly more powerful than the Command Prompt and it is capable of interpreting both Batch commands and PowerShell commands.

What is CMD?

The Command Prompt, sometimes known as "cmd", is the command line interpreter for Microsoft Windows operating systems. It is used to automate a variety of operations linked to the system by utilising scripts and batch files.

  • It's a Windows program that gives commands to the system, such as file management operations like copy, paste, and delete.
  • CMD provides a command line interface that simulates the majority of the command line capabilities that are available in MS-DOS.
  • Therese Stowell, the developer of this programme, was responsible for its original release and distribution as the command line interpreter (CLI) for the Windows NT family of operating systems.
  • CMD comes with built-in commands for carrying out a variety of tasks, the majority of which can be carried out in administrative capacity.

Both the Command Prompt shortcut that is found in the Start Menu as well as the "cmd" Run command can be used to launch the command prompt.

Difference between PowerShell and CMD

The following table highlights the major differences between PowerShell and CMD −

Basis of comparison PowerShell CMD
Introduced by PowerShell was first introduced in 2006. "cmd" was first introduced in 1981.
Type You can type PowerShell into run to open it. You can type cmd in run to open it.
Commands It can work with both PowerShell cmdlets and batch commands. It is only possible to use Batch commands with it.
Aliases It gives users the flexibility to create aliases for scripts or cmdlets that they use frequently. This can make it easier for the user to browse between the different functions. It does not allow you to make aliases for commands.
Transfer It is possible for the output of one cmdlet to be passed on to another. A command's output cannot be passed on to other commands.
Output The output takes the form of an object. A command's output is simply text.
Execution Can run a script that has a series of cmdlets to be executed in sequence. When using "cmd", each command must be completed before proceeding to the next command.
Help There is a command called "help" that may be used to obtain information about any cmdlet. There is no such help option provided for obtaining information about the commands.
Linux Systems Supports Linux Systems. It doesn’t support Linux systems.


In this post, we covered a wide range of topics relating to the Command Prompt and the PowerShell. When compared to the Command Prompt, PowerShell is still in its infancy, nevertheless, Microsoft is actively working to expand its functionality, so it would be beneficial to start learning PowerShell as soon as possible.

PowerShell was developed using the Dot NET framework, hence it has access to a variety of libraries, which makes it simpler to connect to a variety of different computer systems. Last but not the least, PowerShell is the program that administrators rely on the most because it helps automate a variety of monotonous activities.