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With its responsive user interface and improved reliability, Windows 2000 Professional is truly the most appealing version yet of Microsoft's operating system. Provided you have the hardware to run it (at least 64 MB of RAM is required), you won't find a better, more serious OS for business computing.
If you are upgrading from previous editions, the Windows 2000 wizards are particularly useful; they'll detect all your software and possible compatibility problems before you make the switch. In testing, our upgrade for a laptop was smooth and sure, and all previously installed software was automatically brought onboard to the new version.
Previously, Microsoft offered only limited support for notebook users within Windows NT 4.0. Windows 2000, however, allows most recent laptops to take advantage of power-management features, plug-and-play standard, plus recent hardware advances, such as the Universal Serial Bus (USB), IrDA for infrared devices, and FireWire. All these improvements mean that Windows 2000 will run on a greater array of systems.
There are some unexpected additions, too. You can also "hibernate" your Windows 2000 notebook to save and restore your work quickly as you go out on the road. In addition, this new OS adds more support for working offline with data saved from the Internet. (The Windows 2000 version of Internet Explorer 5.0 and Active Desktop, which allows you to access Web content from the desktop, are bundled here too.)
Besides support for mobile users, Windows 2000 beefs up reliability and greatly reduces the need to reboot as you update drivers, settings, and the like. Although you can still expect your Linux friends to brag that their favorite OS is even more reliable, the ease of configuration in Windows 2000 and its new-and-improved reliability make for an excellent choice for any serious computer user. Of course, if your business is using Windows 2000 Server on the back end, you will also benefit from easier installation and configuring of software, since these tasks can now be automated by remote administrators.
In all, Windows 2000 is a great-looking operating system, with a slick visual style, a responsive user interface, and plenty of power beneath the hood. For desktop and mobile users, it's a state-of-the-art choice for running today's Windows applications and for getting to the Internet.
- 133 MHz or faster Pentium processor (supports up to 2 processors on a single computer)
- Microsoft Windows 95 or 98
- 64 MB RAM recommended (32 MB minimum; 4 GB maximum)
- 2 GB or more hard disk space with 650 MB free space (more free hard disk space is required if installing over a network)
- CD-ROM or DVD drive (for installation)
- VGA or higher-resolution monitor
- Microsoft mouse or compatible pointing device
- High-density 3.5-inch disk drive (unless your CD-ROM drive is bootable and supports starting the setup program from a CD)
For network installation:
- Windows 2000 compatible network adapter card and related cable
- Access to the network share that contains the setup files
Additional product features:
- Increased uptime of the system and significantly fewer operating system reboot scenarios
- Better memory management
- Windows Installer tracks applications and recognizes and replaces missing components
- Protects memory of individual applications and processes to avoid a single application bringing the system down
- Encrypted File Systems protects sensitive data
- Secure Virtual Private Networking (VPN) supports tunneling in to private LAN over public Internet
- Personalized menus adapt to the way you work
- Multilingual version allows for User Interface and Help to switch, based on logon
- Includes broader support for high-speed networking devices, including Native ATM and cable modems
- Supports Universal Serial Bus (USB) and IEEE 1394 for greater bandwidth devices
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