Windows 2000 was released generally on February 17, 2000. SP4 is now available. A planned 64-bit version of Windows 2000 was abandoned due to substantial additional work being needed. The need for a 64-bit operating system is driven more by server demands than desktop demands.

The IBM PC 300 GL came with 128MB of memory which is typical for machines the shipped with Windows 2000. The machine also came with a license for Windows NT 3.51.

Generally Windows 2000 offered excellent performance and compatibility with productivity programs from Windows 95 and Windows 98 in addition to Windows NT. Microsoft was able to consolidate the two major platforms successfully.

The Start menu in Windows 2000 introduces personalized menus, expandable special folders and the ability to launch multiple programs without closing the menu by holding down the SHIFT key. A Re-sort button forces the entire Start Menu to be sorted by name. The Taskbar introduces support for balloon notifications which can also be used by application developers. Windows 2000 Explorer introduces customizable Windows Explorer toolbars, auto-complete in Windows Explorer address bar and Run box, advanced file type association features, displaying comments in shortcuts as tooltips, extensible columns in Details view (IColumnProvider interface), icon overlays, integrated search pane in Windows Explorer, sort by name function for menus, and Places bar in common dialogs for Open and Save.

Windows 2000 included DX7 commonly used by Windows 98 game developers. The last version of DirectX that was released for Windows 2000 was DirectX 9.0c (Shader Model 3.0), which shipped with Windows XP Service Pack 2. Microsoft published quarterly updates to DirectX 9.0c through the February 2010 release after which support was dropped in the June 2010 SDK. These updates contain bug fixes to the core runtime and some additional libraries such as D3DX, XAudio 2, XInput and Managed DirectX components. The majority of games written for versions of DirectX 9.0c (up to the February 2010 release) can therefore run on Windows 2000.

Windows 2000 included the same games as Windows NT 4.0 did: FreeCell, Minesweeper, Pinball, and Solitaire. Other games from the Windows 98 period are hit and miss as to whether they can be coaxed into action. DOS games worked fine for the most part in the extended DOS window. NVIDIA supports Windows 2000 better than AMD does with drivers. Overall drivers are still being shipped primarily due to the huge installed base of users. Using a large disk and partitions means the full performance. Video cards moved to PCI Express quickly as the old AGP was becoming more and more of a bottleneck. While XP was released shortly after Windows 2000, drivers for XP work fine with Windows 2000.

When installing Windows 2000 beware that the formatting process can take a few hours to complete. Microsoft has no way to know if the disk is safe to use or not.


Operating SystemN/A
CPUIntel Pentium 133 or better
Memory64 MB or more
Hard Drive Space2.5 GB or more
Graphics HardwareSVGA or better
NetworkBroadband Internet Connection Required

Windows 2000 does way better with 128MB or more memory along with a 20GB hard disk