MinGW users are encouraged to use msys.bat to launch a special MSDOS environment in which to run the MinGW binaries (gcc, make, etc.). But wouldn't it be nice if MinGW instead allowed users to use these binaries from a plain Command Prompt window?
If the MinGW installer simply set a few environment variables, users wouldn't have to use a special MSYS window to access their Unix toolset.
I've found that adding the MinGW bin directory to the Windows PATH is sufficient for using 90% of the GCC toolchain functionality in any future Command Prompt window the user opens.
I understand the reason for cordoning MinGW tools off in their own environment--that way it doesn't interfere with other toolsets the user may have, such as Visual Studio command line tools, or Strawberry Perl (which happens to include gcc). But this shouldn't be a problem if MinGW appends, rather than prepends, the bin directory to the Windows PATH environment variable.