WMI is Microsoft's implementation of WBEM, or Web-Based Enterprise Management. WBEM was designed to provide one method for accessing management data that originates from disparate sources. WBEM has been developed over the years by a consortium of companies that all shared a common vision for how monitoring should be implemented. The old methods of proprietary monitoring subsystems for each operating system or platform have made way for an open standard for monitoring, independent from platform or OS-specific APIs. Like most "open standards," various companies have created their own implementation but these exist as supersets of the original WBEM requirements and follow the standards of Common Information Model and Desktop Management Interface as set forth by the Distributed Management Task Force.
The Internet is an excellent source for finding commonly used WMI scripts. Rather than reinvent the wheel, you can check to see if another scripter has already created a script that does what you need.
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