<operating system> (Win2k, W2k, NT5, Windows NT 5.0) An operating system developed by Microsoft Corporation for PCs and servers, as the successor to Windows NT 4.0. Early beta versions were referred to as "Windows NT 5.0". Windows 2000 was officially released on 2000-02-17.
Windows 2000 is most commonly used on Intel x86 and Pentium processors, with a DEC Alpha version rumoured. Unlike Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000 is not available for PowerPC or MIPS.
Windows 2000's user interface is very similar to Windows 95 or Windows NT 4.0 with integrated Internet Explorer, or to Windows 98.
It is available in four flavours:
- Professional: the client version, meant for desktop workstations, successor to Windows NT Workstation.
- Server: "entry-level" server, designed for small deployments, and departmental file, print, or intranet servers.
- Advanced Server: high throughput, larger scale servers and applications, and small to medium scale websites.
- Data Center Server: software for large-scale server clusters (in development as of 2000-03-14).
New features in Windows 2000 include:
- Active Directory.
- Greatly improved built-in security mechanisms, including Kerberos-based authentication, public key support, an encrypting file system, and IPsec support.
- Integrated web browser - Internet Explorer 5.0.
- Integrated web server - IIS 5.0
- Terminal services for displaying application interfaces on remote computers (similar to X-Windows).
- File protection that prevents user programs from accidentally deleting or overwriting critical system files.
- Improved hardware support, including Plug-and-Play, DVD, IEEE-1394 (FireWire), USB, infra-red, PCMCIA, ACPI, laptop computers.
- Improved user interface, including a single point to control the entire system.
- Improved management tools, including remote administration.
Minimum system requirements, according to Microsoft, are Pentium-133 MHz CPU, 64 MB RAM, 650 MB of hard disk space. These are for W2K Professional, others require more.
Many operating systems compete with Windows 2000, including the Apple MacOS, Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Sun Solaris, IBM AIX, Hewlett-Packard HP-UX, SGI Irix. Novell's NDS also provides a service similar to Active Directory.
Windows 2000 will be followed by Windows XP Professional and Windows 2002.
Usenet newsgroups: news:microsoft.public.windows2000, news:comp.os.ms-windows.
Last updated: 2002-01-28
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Nearby terms: Windows « Windows 1 « Windows 2 « Windows 2000 » Windows/286 » Windows 2K » Windows 3.0