Microsoft is going to change the default colour scheme used by Windows console windows. After years of neglect, Microsoft has been working to update and overhaul the Windows command-line interface.
With the development of the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) and continued investment in PowerShell, the shortcomings of the Windows command-line windows themselves have become more apparent.
Colour change scheme
The colour change scheme is a small quality-of-life improvement its default colour scheme is rather hard to read. The bright blue colour, in particular, is near-illegible on high contrast screens. The new colours are easier to read and more consistent with the colours used in other terminal apps.
Upgrade installs won’t get the new colors, because upgrades try to preserve system settings, with the console colors among those preserved settings. Microsoft says that it will later release a tool to update existing installs to use the new colours.
The new Windows console still weak compared to its counterparts in macOS and Linux. In Windows, the operating systems-supplied console windows closely tied to the command-line applications that use them; it’s impossible to create a command-line application that isn’t attached to a Windows console window.
Linux and macOS offer a separation between the software that’s displaying the console apps and the console apps themselves. Those operating systems have a built-in default console, but unlike Windows, they don’t have to use it; third-party software can fill the same role.
Attractive, modern terminal applications like iTerm on macOS and UNIX stalwarts such as screen take advantage of this extensibility. Neither kind of application readily developed for command-line apps on Windows, and while people have tried to work around Windows’ limitations.