There are several ways to open a URL from a command or from within a batch file line in Windows 2000. The first and easiest method is to use the START command:
By default, if there is already a Web browser open that last had focus, the URL will open in that one. Note that if the URL ends in ".com," you MUST prefix it with either "www." or "http://" (if the URL doesn't begin with a WWW extension). Otherwise, the command-line interpreter will think you're trying to launch a program with the extension .COM!
You can also use the START command to alter the priority of the launched process, through one of its command line switches. Type START /? to get a complete list of the command-line parameters available for it.
Another URL-launching method is to call Internet Explorer directly (provided that's your browser). This will always open a new instance of a browser:
"C:Program FilesInternet ExplorerIEXPLORE.EXE"
The same restrictions about the URL apply here. For safety's sake, it's always best to add the "HTTP://" at the beginning of the URL.
Serdar Yegulalp is the editor of the Windows 2000 Power Users Newsletter.
This was first published in July 2002