Windows Management Framework 4.0 is now available

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Windows Management Framework 4.0, our package that lets you use management technologies from Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 on some of Microsoft’s older operating systems, is now available for you to download and install. This full-release version of Windows Management Framework 4.0 includes even more improvements than our Preview release. Be certain to read this blog post fully before installing, especially because WMF 4.0 is not compatible with certain versions of server products.

Windows Management Framework 4.0 Preview was made publicly available in July, and we were very excited to talk with community as they played around with our new work, knowing that it would only get better.

WMF 4.0 is available for installation on Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 (SP1), Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Embedded 7. Note that WMF 4.0 cannot be installed on Windows 8. However, you can obtain the updated functionality included in WMF 4.0 by installing Windows 8.1, which is available as a free update for Windows 8.
.NET 4.5 is an additional prerequisite for WMF 4.0; make sure it is installed on your machine before installing WMF 4.0. If .NET 4.5 is not installed, the installer will silently fail to install WMF 4.0.

WMF 4.0 contains updated versions of the following features:

  • Windows PowerShell
  • Windows PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE)
  • Windows PowerShell Web Services (Management OData IIS Extension)
  • Windows Remote Management (WinRM)
  • Windows Management Infrastructure (WMI)

Additionally, we have added a new and exciting Windows PowerShell feature which is available in WMF 4.0:

  • Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC)

To use this updated management infrastructure to manage Windows 7 SP1, Windows Embedded 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, and Windows Server 2012, WMF 4.0 must be installed on computers that are running the previously-released operating systems.

Along with the packages for each operating system, we have provided a set of Release Notes and an additional DSC quick reference. These have tons of useful information about new features, as well as a list of known issues with their workarounds and known incompatibilities with other applications. We encourage you to download and read them both.

After installing WMF 4.0, it is possible to upgrade your operating system to a newer release of Windows; for example, from Windows 7 to Windows 8, or from Windows Server 2012 to Windows Server 2012 R2. These upgrade scenarios have known issues documented in the Release Notes. Before performing an upgrade of the operating system, be sure to read the Release Notes, and be prepared to perform the additional steps, or uninstall WMF 4.0.

Also, please note that upgrading from WMF 4.0 Preview to the final version of WMF 4.0 is not supported. If you have WMF 4.0 Preview on your computer, you should uninstall WMF 4.0 Preview before installing the final version of WMF 4.0.

IMPORTANT: Not all Microsoft server applications are currently compatible with WMF 4.0. Before installing WMF 4.0, be sure to read the WMF 4.0 Release Notes. Specifically, systems that are running the following server applications should not run WMF 4.0 at this time:

  • System Center 2012 Configuration Manager (not including SP1)
  • System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 (including SP1)
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2013, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2007
  • Microsoft SharePoint 2013 and Microsoft SharePoint 2010
  • Windows Small Business Server 2011Standard

We acknowledge that there is still a need for management of Windows Server 2008, and Windows Management Framework 3.0 remains the answer for Windows Server 2008.

For any issues or feedback you would like to report to us, please use our Connect site at

On behalf of everyone in the Windows PowerShell, WinRM, and WMI teams, we hope you enjoy this release.

John Lisco
Program Manager – Windows PowerShell
Microsoft Corporation 

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  • Please add 1 and 7 and type the answer here:
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  • WMF 3.0 is the answer for Server 2008? What about SBS 2008 and Exchange 2007? Are they suddenly compatible?

  • When you say it should not run, are you meaning compatibility errors or can running powershell with the appropriate version switch get around the problem (which is what we had to do in WMF 3.0).

  • Bug in invoke-webrequest in Powershell 4?

    Running this command in Powershell 4 completely locks up the ISE and Powershell prompt, worked fine in 3:

    Set $tag to any valid Dell Service Tag ...

    $uri="" + $tag  `

    + "?c=us&l=en&s=bsd&t=warranty"

    $dell=invoke-webrequest -uri $uri

    Trying to read the $dell variable (and sometimes when just running the webrequest) results in the session (ISE or prompt) to hang indefinitely.

  • Thanks for this information

  • Glad to here.

  • So exactly what is so hard about making PS backward compatible?  

  • This issue with WMF 3.0 and now WMF 4.0 being incompatible with a variety of your server products is unacceptable. No sysadmin in their right mind would install these on any of their computers, even those not running servers, out of concern for what unintended consequences there might be in allowing a Powershell 3/4 workstation to establish a remoting session with an incompatible server.  You've know about this issue for over a year now.  Why can't powershell auto-negotiate downlevel compatibility where necessary?  You've basically established Powershell 2.0 as the only version of powershell that admins can trust.

  • I have Windows 8.1 do I need to install anything other than PowerShell 2.0 to manage my Exchange server on o365?

  • I would agree 100% that backward compatibility is critical for MS's own server products. Why would I want to touch WMF3/4 if it breaks my Servers. No to mention there is a high probability it inadvertently slipped into the servers now that it is available...

  • I will test it in a VM but I bet (just like with WMF 3.0) if you supply the "-version 2" switch it will work fine for older products like SharePoint 2010. I will report back once I check.

  • What everyone else has said, and:

    What's with the whole "silently fail to install" if .Net 4.5 isn't present, that's not very user friendly is it? Why can't it have a pre-requisite checker to make sure that a) everything it needs is present, and b) to stop people inadvertently breaking stuff that it's not compatible with? Would that really be so hard? Same situation for WMF 3.0 too, not really good enough in this day and age, is it? What's the reasoning behind that approach?

  • WMF 3.0 and 4.0 depend on .NET Framework 4.0 and 4.5. However, some previously released Microsoft server applications are not compatible with .NET Framework 4.0. These products may be updated to support .NET Framework 4.0 in a future update which would also make them compatible with WMF 4.0.

    For more information on the setup behavior where .NET Framework 4.5 was not installed as a prerequisite, refer to the WMF 4.0 Known Issue: Partial Installation without .NET Framework 4.5 blog post.

  • Does anyone know if the following bug is going to be fixed anytime soon?

  • This is just silly. Powershell should be part of the core OS. If you are going to depend on it for builds and Azure...then it MUST be a core part of the OS. How can I rely on it if its a optional download?

    And lets remember that very very important features like Invoke-RestMethod are MISSING from Powershell 2.0.

    So the question becomes how many other key, basic, fundamental features are missing? The lack of rest invocation is shocking. You really have to sit back and ponder how this could be missing from anything modern.

  • I guess this is why SBS can't have anything nice.

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Windows Management Framework 4.0 is now available