Most Windows command prompts will choke when you set environment variables with NODE_ENV=production like that. (The exception is Bash on Windows, which uses native Bash.) Similarly, there's a difference in how windows and POSIX commands utilize environment variables. With POSIX, you use: $ENV_VAR and on windows you use %ENV_VAR%.cross-env makes it so you can have a single command without worrying about setting or using the environment variable properly for the platform. Just set it like you would if it's running on a POSIX system, and cross-env will take care of setting it properly.