Description: We know that Windows "shortcuts" aren't really symbolic links; only Windows Explorer and certain other applications can make sense of them. Now your perl program can, too. This uses OLE to access the contents of a shortcut.

use Win32::OLE;

my $wsh = new Win32::OLE 'WScript.Shell';

sub read_shortcut {
    my $lnk_path = shift; # path of existing .lnk file

    my $shcut = $wsh->CreateShortcut($lnk_path) or die;

sub write_shortcut {
    my $lnk_path = shift; # path of new .lnk file
    my $target_path = shift;
    my $comment = shift; # optional

    my $shcut = $wsh->CreateShortcut($lnk_path) or die;
    $shcut->{'TargetPath'} = $target_path;
    $shcut->{'Description'} = $comment if defined $comment;

print "c:\\foo.lnk points to ", read_shortcut("c:\\foo.lnk");

# In fact, the shortcut file can be .url too, not just .lnk,
# in which case it is an "internet shortcut", and the target
# path is a URL.

write_shortcut( "c:\\perlmonks.url", "" );