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Windows Terminal (codenamed Cascadia) is an open source terminal emulator developed by Microsoft for Windows 10 and later, which was first announced at the Microsoft Build 2019 developer conference. It aims to be a modern replacement for the legacy Windows Console host, which is also built from the same source code repository and shares certain components with it. Unlike the legacy host, it supports hardware accelerated rendering, includes better Unicode support and offers customization options comparable to other similar applications for different platforms. It can also run multiple console applications in tabs, each of which can be further divided to panes.
The Terminal bundles the purpose-built monospace Cascadia Code font, which includes support for programming ligatures as well as PowerLine glyphs. It has since been adopted as the default font for Visual Studio 2022.
History[edit | edit source]
Windows Terminal was announced at Microsoft's Build 2019 developer conference in May 2019 as a modern alternative for the Windows Console. Windows Terminal's source code first appeared on GitHub on 3 May 2019. The first preview release was version 0.2, which appeared on 10 July 2019. The first stable version of the project (version 1.0) was released on 19 May 2020, at which point, Microsoft started releasing preview versions as the Windows Terminal Preview app, which could be installed side-by-side with the stable version.
Starting in March 2022, the Windows Terminal has been split to feature a package for both Windows 10 and 11 and a separate package exclusively for Windows 11. The latter always has a higher version number to make upgrades on Windows 11 from the other package possible. Microsoft states "that it is impossible to have two bundles with the same version number, so it has to be this way." While the Windows 10/11 package requires at least the Windows 10 May 2019 Update, the Windows 11-only package requires at least the original release of Windows 11.