We have certainly done a bad job of this in the past.  We have focused on GUIs for simple administration and SDKs for complex administration and not paid enough attention to the command line.  Mea Culpa. Mea Culpa.

WE ARE FIXING THIS.  (That is the great thing about MSFT - we are incapable of sustained error.  OK OK, sometimes it takes us 25 years before we fix things but still - we eventually get them fixed.  Smiley )

We started to fix this in XP and W2K3 by adding 61 new commands.  That was great and it moved the ball forward but what was still missing was the rich programmatic shell/scripting language and the rich domain-independent utilities. 

That is now fixed by being able to use the free download of Services For Unix (SFU) which gives you all the UNIX shells and utilities.  SFU provides great UNIX compatiblity and interoperability.  Great stuff - check it out.  Use it early, use it often.

We are also working on the next generation of command line scripting tools which will leapfrog the capabilities current tools.  This is the MONAD project offically known as the MSH Command Shell.  Most Unix guys blanch when I say that there is a better way to do things but then agree after they hear me out and see the demo.  The topic is too vast to cover in one posting but what you can do is to check out the DECK I presented at the PDC at: http://download.microsoft.com/download/3/8/1/38198a72-294d-46c3-93ba-faee5cf85d00/ARC334.ppt . 

Here is the elevator pitch:
MSH is as
   Interactive and Composable as ksh or bash
   Programmable as Perl or Phython
   Production-oriented as VMS DCL or AS400 CL
And it makes accessing management information as easy as accessing files.

You can also get a copy of the new shell from http://betaplace.com .  You'll need a passport account and then login with the name "mshPDC" (case matters).  You'll get access within 24-48 hours.

Please investigate and give it a try and throw rocks.  I think you'll like it but I'm most interested in finding out where we got it wrong and what we need to do to get it right.