The terminology is somewhat misleading, as each registry key is similar to an associative array, where standard terminology would refer to the name part of each registry value as a "key". The terms are a holdout from the 16-bit registry in Windows 3, in which registry keys could not contain arbitrary name/data pairs, but rather contained only one unnamed value (which had to be a string). In this sense, the Windows 3 registry was like a single associative array, in which the keys (in the sense of both 'registry key' and 'associative array key') formed a hierarchy, and the registry values were all strings. When the 32-bit registry was created, so was the additional capability of creating multiple named values per key, and the meanings of the names were somewhat distorted. For compatibility with the previous behavior, each registry key may have a "default" value, whose name is the empty string.
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Also like the file system, PowerShell uses the concept of a current location which defines the context on which commands by default operate. The Get-ChildItem (also available through the alias ls or dir) retrieves the child keys of the current location. By using the Set-Location (or the alias cd) command the user can change the current location to another key of the registry. Commands which rename items, remove items, create new items or set content of items or properties can be used to rename keys, remove keys or entire sub-trees or change values.