Friday, 3 June 2011


Windows 2000 is an older operating system still used in some small and large offices. Windows 2000 professional is the operating system edition used on client machines. Even though the operating system has been replaced by several newer Windows versions, it still has some advantages and disadvantages for client machines and networks.

The Windows 2000 Professional operating system uses the NTFS standard for its file system. NTFS allows users to share folders and set permissions on the machine. Users can also set profiles for each person who accesses the machine. Each user has a different profile that contains custom settings, so backgrounds, fonts and startup programs are specific for the person logging in. The NTFS file system also offers users the ability to set permissions on files, so users could only read some documents without changing the content. If users want to block other users from seeing the file, Windows 2000 Professional allows them to password-protect the folder.

The Windows 2000 operating system has been on the market for several years. Because it's been a part of the Windows operating system for so long, several patches and security hotfixes are available. This makes it incredibly stable compared to newer Windows operating systems. The amount of time the operating system has been on the market has allowed Microsoft to fix any issues that arise for newer Windows versions, which is why some users choose to keep the older Windows 2000 version.

Microsoft no longer supports Windows 2000 Professional as of July 13, 2010. Because of this, updates, hotfixes and phone support are no longer offered for this product. For this reason, users with Windows 2000 on a machine may encounter an issue that cannot be fixed. Windows 2000 users should consider upgrading to avoid loss of support features.

Windows 2000 Professional (known here as Windows 2000) made its debut in February. As the Computer Age matures, so must the operating systems that power these brain trusts. Where once everyone was only concerned about accessing basic files and playing simple games, today's sophisticated computer user not only needs but wants more out of his or her system. Microsoft Corporation is betting that its new Windows 2000 for business and soon to be released Windows Millennium for consumers will meet those needs with flying colors.

Company Chairman Bill Gates called the operating system "the most ambitious software project ever." But without proper preparation, upgrading a computer's operating system to Windows 2000 is a lot like jumping out of an airplane without first testing a parachute.

The high marks Windows 2000 has received for stability and performance might be enough to warrant an upgrade, but users need to check their hardware for compatibility. Even consumers, who will find that Windows Millennium (also known as Windows ME), which lacks Windows 2000's stability but caters more to their needs, should be wary.

Windows 2000 offers an even more impressive set of improvements. Originally called Windows NT (New Technology) 5.0, it inherits Windows 95/ 98 features such as Plug and Play hardware detection, support for the FAT32 file system, and power management. But small businesses still running Windows 95/ 98 should stick with their current operating systems, for the time being.

Microsoft's upgrade site lists 5,765 PC models that conform to Windows 2000's system requirements: Users should have at least a 133-MHz (166 MHz preferred) Pentium-class system with at 64MB of memory, and a 2GB hard disk with a minimum of 650MB of free space.

Furthermore, users should be sure their PC's manufacturer offers Windows 2000 BIOS upgrades, if necessary. The BIOS the code that lives directly on a PC's motherboard and boots the computer describes some hardware characteristics to the operating system. It's crucial that a PC has an ACPI BIOS to run Windows 2000.

Windows 2000 does have its advantages. Besides being more stable, requiring far fewer reboots than Windows 98,  it also shuts down quickly. And it's better than its predecessors at supplying big chunks of memory quickly to applications such as Adobe Photoshop.

But with advantages come disadvantages. Unlike Windows 95/ 98, Windows 2000 requires users to log on using a name and password, and it uses that log-on authentication to control file access. More important, hardware compatibility and system requirements make Windows 2000 an iffy choice for antiquated hardware. And just because hardware is new doesn't make it compatible with Windows 2000.

Also, users can't uninstall Windows 2000 Professional like Windows 98. If an installation doesn't work, their only recourse is to wipe out everything by reformatting the disk drive and reinstalling the operating system and all their applications.

Finally, Windows 2000 Professional lists at $319 retail, with an upgrade from Windows 95/98 at $219.With an expected street price of about $90, Millennium is the way to go for most home and casual users.

Users who want Windows 2000 should purchase a computer that comes with it and all the necessary peripherals installed. Those who want better performance should invest in a faster processor or a memory upgrade.


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