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Windows 2000 is an operating system designed by Microsoft to run application programs, store files, support networking and provide other features like multimedia and entertainment. It was originally named as Windows NT 5.0 since it was the successor of Windows NT 4.0. Windows 2000 was released on February 17, 2000
The versions of Windows 2000 include Professional, Server, Advanced Server and Datacenter Server. The Microsoft Management Console and System Administration applications along with some other core components remain the same in all four versions. New assistive technologies for the disabled, new Internationalization requirements and Locale specific features very some new modules added in Windows 2000. The other features supported in Windows 2000 are the NTFS 3.0 file system, Encrypted File System, Dynamic Disk storage, Active Directory Services and Distributed File System.
Windows 2000 is commonly refered to as Win2k.
Windows 2000 offers a host of features compared to its predecessors. Windows Desktop Update, Internet Explorer 5, FAT32 system support, Outlook Express, Connection Sharing, Net Meeting, Windows Driver Model, Windows Media Player are some of the new features incorporated in Windows 2000. It was also the first version to support hardware independent Hibernation. A File protection system was developed that allows only operating system based programs like Windows Installer and Registry to make changes to the Windows operating system core files. The System File Checker uses an integrity check to determine if the operating system core files have been modified and the user can always get rid of the tampered file by replacing it with the original file with the help of DLLCACHE.
The Plug and Play API was added to Windows 2000 that allows the detection of any hardware and its driver location automatically (at least in theory). It also listens to notifications sent by the PnP device. The Graphic User Interface (GUI) has been enhanced in appearance by means of transparent, translucent and alpha blended GUI elements that can be associated with top level windows. It introduced a new customization template known as Active Desktop that allows the user to change the appearance of files and folders using HTML based appearance templates with an extension HTT.