Microsoft released the Windows 2000 operating system in February 2000, allocating it to the workstation and server markets. The system was initially available in four versions - Professional, Server, Advanced Server, Datacenter Server. In 2001, the market was launched with the Advanced Server Limited Edition and Datacenter Server Limited Edition, which was extended with support for 64-bit Intel Itanium microprocessors.
Windows 2000 introduced many new features with Windows 98 and Windows 98 SE, including Windows Desktop Update, Internet Explorer 5, Outlook Express, NetMeeting, FAT32 support, Windows Driver Model, Internet Connection Sharing, Windows Media Player, WebDAVitd support. Some new features are common to all editions of Windows 2000, including the new NTFS 3.0 file system, Microsoft Management Console (MMC), UDF file system support, File System Encryption (EFS), Local disk management, Image Color Management 2.0, PostScript 3 printer support, OpenType (.OTF) and Type 1 PostScript (.PFB) font support. Windows 2000 also introduced USB device class drivers for USB printers, storage devices and improved FireWire SBP-2 support for printers and scanners, along with an applet for secure storage device removal. Windows 2000 is also the first version of Windows to support operating system level hibernation (ACPI S4 sleep state controlled by the operating system). A new feature was introduced to protect critical system files called "Windows File Protection". This feature protects Windows critical files by preventing programs other than Microsoft's operating system update mechanisms, such as Package Installer, Windows Installer and other update components, from modifying them. The System File Controller provides users with the ability to manually scan the integrity of all protected system files and optionally repair them, restoring them from the cache stored in a separate "DLLCACHE" directory or from the original installation media. Windows 2000 also introduced basic system administration and management functions such as Windows Installer, Windows Management Instrumentation and Windows Event Tracking (ETW) to the operating system. With the addition of SP4 to Windows 2000, Automatic Updates were introduced, a solution transferred from Windows Millennium.
This system could have been installed as an operating system upgrade for the home computer, but it did not find recognition in the field of operating systems for non-advanced users. The reasons were quite numerous, the most important being the lack of drivers for popular consumer devices such as printers and scanners. It was advertised as the safest version of Windows. However, this system became a target for highly profiled viruses such as Code Red, Nimda or ILoveYou. Windows 2000 is the latest version of Windows NT, which did not require activation.