AKA: Win2k, NT 5.0
A Microsoft Operating System for the x86 platform. Successor to Windows NT 4, it was Microsoft's answer to the dominant UNIX server market and a growing demand for a more secure and crash-free desktop. With its rewritten core, it unified much of the Windows NT (server) and 98 (desktop) markets.
- Advanced Server
- Data Server
Although its successor Windows XP has been available for some time, Windows 2000 is more mature security-wise and still the Operating System of choice for many PC owners for desktop and server applications. However, Windows XP united the desktop and the server for Microsoft, a task Windows 2000 tried and failed to accomplish.
- Incompatibility' As both Windows 2000 and XP were largely rewritten, many programs available for Windows 95, 98, and ME are incompatible.
- IIS Problems Windows 2000 stumbled in its strong server market growth with the numerous security problems surrounding Internet Information Server Web server and the cost-benefit challenge of the free and open source Apache Web server. It has not yet recovered.
- Dual-Processors Encouraged According to this InfoWorld article "Our tests on a dual-CPU system indicate that both Windows XP and Windows 2000 run better on an SMP (symmetric multiprocessing) configuration with relatively slow CPUs than on a single-CPU system with a screamingly fast processor."
Individuals interested in protecting information on their Windows 2000 computer should not use the included encryption security and not trust the password security as evidence by Advanced EFS Data Recovery (and other tools). This is if (and only if) they have physical access to the computer or hard drive.
(This also affects Windows XP.)
See: Hard Disk Encryption for alternative encryption systems.
Alternatives to Windows 2000
Although 2000 Professional's minimum hardware requirement is fairly low, Pentium 300 and slower systems take a strong performance hit. If you want the reliability of Windows 2000 or XP on an older (X86) computer (200 MHz or less), there aren't many options beyond Linux. Older hardware has largely been abandoned by Microsoft and no other commercial companies are in the market other than OS/2, which is now quite expensive. Backwards-compatability with older systems is a niche market but slower systems are still very useful for answering e-mail, surfing, and almost all Internet activity beyond gaming. They are not obsolete.