Windows 2000

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Windows 2000 is a line of operating systems produced by Microsoft for use on personal computers, business desktops, laptops, and servers. Released on 17 February 2000,[3] it was the successor to Windows NT 4.0, and is the final release of Microsoft Windows to display the "Windows NT" designation. It was succeeded by Windows XP for desktop systems in October 2001 and Windows Server 2003 for servers in April 2003. Windows Me was released seven months after Windows 2000 and one year before Windows XP, but Windows Me was not intended to be, nor did it serve as the successor to Windows 2000. Windows Me was designed for home use, while Windows 2000 was designed for business.

Four editions of Windows 2000 were released: Professional, Server, Advanced Server, and Datacenter Server.[4] Additionally, Microsoft sold Windows 2000 Advanced Server Limited Edition and Windows 2000 Datacenter Server Limited Edition, which were released in 2001 and run on 64-bit Intel Itanium microprocessors.[5] While each edition of Windows 2000 was targeted to a different market, they share a core set of features, including many system utilities such as the Microsoft Management Console and standard system administration applications.

Support for people with disabilities has been improved over Windows NT 4.0 with a number of new assistive technologies,[6] and Microsoft increased support for different languages[7] and locale information.[8]

All versions of the operating system support the Windows NT file system, NTFS 3.0,[9] the Encrypting File System, as well as basic and dynamic disk storage.[10] The Windows 2000 Server family has additional features,[11] including the ability to provide Active Directory services (a hierarchical framework of resources), Distributed File System (a file system that supports sharing of files) and fault-redundant storage volumes. Windows 2000 can be installed through either a manual or unattended installation.[12] Unattended installations rely on the use of answer files to fill in installation information, and can be performed through a bootable CD using Microsoft Systems Management Server, by the System Preparation Tool.[13]

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