On December 7, 1999, the next Windows NT operating system finished development -- Windows 2000, or Windows NT 5.0, Build 2195.

On pre-order since December 1999, Windows 2000 Professional was available as an Upgrade or a clean installation. The regular clean installation edition costed about $300, while the upgrade costed $200.

The Windows Server 2000 was available in three versions -- standard Server, Advanced Server, and Datacenter Server.

On pre-order since December 2, 1999, two of the three versions of Windows Server 2000 were seen at -- standard and Advanced Server. The Advanced Server edition could support up to 25 PCs and be priced at an oversized $4,000 (roughly $160 per user). The standard Server edition could support up to five PCs and cost between $800 and $900 (about $160-$180 per user).

Development of Windows 2000

Build 1729: Beta 1 (September 27, 1997)

Back then, this software was known as "Windows NT 5.0 Workstation". The startup sound is VERY LOUD, a lot unlike the Windows NT 4.0 and 2000 startup sounds. It includes Internet Explorer 4.0 since IE 5.0 hasn't even started building yet.

Build 1902: Beta 2 (August 20, 1998)

This build retains the loud startup sound from the first beta version of Windows NT 5.0 Workstation/Windows 2000. However, the logo looks a bit closer to its final version.

On October 27, 1998, Microsoft announced that Windows NT 5.0 would change its final name to Windows 2000 for the third beta.

Build 2000: Beta 3 (April 29, 1999)

Beta 3 was the first build to use the name "Windows 2000", and contained a different startup sound compared to the first two betas.

Build 2072: Release Candidate 1 (July 2, 1999)

This release candidate of Windows 2000 marks the first appearance of the Windows 2000 startup sound, later also used on Windows Me.

Build 2128: Release Candidate 2 (September 15, 1999)

Release Candidate 2 includes Internet Explorer 5.01 (build number 5.00.2919.3800), which would later be available for Windows 95, 98 and NT 4.0 users on November 17, 1999.

Build 2183: Release Candidate 3 (November 11, 1999)

Though it looks a bit identical to the final version of Windows 2000, it still is a little more unstable than the final version itself.

What's new in Windows 2000

  • For Windows 2000, a new folder called My Documents is included.
  • On the System Properties, Advanced features are added.
  • Windows Explorer is redesigned to also include My Network Places and Network and Dial-up Connections.
  • Two new tabs are available on the Local Disk Properties -- Hardware and Quota. You can also allow Indexing Service to index your hard disk so it can do fast file searching.
  • The name "Network Neighborhood" is now changed to "My Network Places".
  • The Taskbar Properties has a new option -- you can now use personalized menus. The Advanced menu now looks different.
  • Like Windows NT 4.0, the name "Command Prompt" is given to Windows 2000.
  • On the Control Panel, you can no longer add or remove hardware, your Device Manager has moved somewhere else, and modems and SCSI adapters are not available, but there are new features -- Administrative Tools, Automatic Updates, Folder Options, Gaming Options, Dial-Up Connecting, and the Sounds and Multimedia programs merged together.
  • Applications like Calculator, Paint, and WordPad are fairly the same as Windows 98.
  • For Notepad, The default font is now Lucida Console, the "Search" tab is replaced by "Format", in which you can change the font, and there are more options to select on the "Edit" tab.
  • The games are the same as Windows NT 4.0 -- Freecell, Minesweeper, Pinball, and Solitaire.
  • In the Entertainment section, you've got Windows Media Player 6.4, the same version that came with Windows 98 Second Edition.
  • The Disk Administrator from Windows NT 4.0 is changed to Disk Defragmenter.
  • All the other System Tools are exactly the same.

The following components were included with Windows Server 2000:

  • Routing and Remote Access Service
  • DNS server
  • IPsec support
  • Smart card support
  • Microsoft Connection Manager Administration Kit
  • Support for Distributed File Systems
  • COM+ and MTS
  • MSMQ 2.0
  • TAPI 3.0
  • Security Support Provider Interface
  • Terminal Services and support for the Remote Desktop Protocol
  • Internet Information Services (IIS) 5.0
  • Windows Media Services 4.1

Included with all editions of Windows 2000 is Internet Explorer 5.01, released in up to four service packs like Windows 2000 itself. But on Windows 95, Windows 96, Windows NT 4.0, and Windows 98, up to two service packs can be installed. The first Service Pack (SP1) was released on July 6, 2000, and the second service pack (SP2) on January 26, 2001.

If you are using Windows Neptune (Build 5111), it will include Internet Explorer 5.01 for Windows 2000 RC2 (build number is 5.00.2919.3800).

There's also Outlook Express 5. For Windows 2000, the build number is different; in fact, it's a slightly newer version.

Finally, when shutting down the computer, the desktop wallpaper disappears, and a blue screen appears. Then the Windows 2000 logo appears prompting you that it will shut down.

Service Pack release dates

Service Pack Date
1 August 15, 2000
2 May 16, 2001
3 August 29, 2002
4 June 26, 2003

Windows 2000 Service Pack 1 was also available as a re-release from the original version.



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