What is Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)?

A. Microsoft introduced WMI as a Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 4 (SP4) component. WMI is now a core component of Windows 2000 and later OSs. WMI lets you access most elements of your operating environment and configure and manage hidden settings for many tools you use every day.

WMI is especially beneficial to administrators. Before WMI, you had to use Win32 API calls to access the information and facilities that WMI offers, and those API calls weren't available to scripting languages. WMI supports scripting languages (e.g., Windows Script Host--WSH--and VBScript) that provide COM automation to manipulate and query any aspect of a system that WMI exposes. Other languages, such as C++, can also reference WMI within their source code. For more information about WMI, visit the Microsoft MSDN Web site at the URL below.

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