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Windows 2000: A Look Back

As far as the SuperSite is concerned, this is where it all began, with Windows NT 5.0, or what Microsoft later renamed to Windows 2000. While I had previously maintained a section of the Internet Nexus called "The Future of Windows," the SuperSite got its start during an August 1998 reviewer workshop, where I became inspired by Microsoft's decision (later delayed to Windows XP) to merge the Windows 9x and NT codebases into a single OS. So instead of simply writing about this release through my previous sites, I decided to create a new web site. And that web site was called...

Windows NT 5.0 SuperSite. Of course.

Looking back on this name, I'm not honestly sure what I was thinking. But it doesn't really matter, since Microsoft soon contacted me, asking me politely--well, just telling me, really--whether I could change the name. At the time, the software giant didn't want enthusiast web sites--what we'd now call blogs--to use their trademarked Windows name as the first word in their own site names. So they thoughtfully suggested that I change the name to SuperSite for Windows NT 5.0. Otherwise, I should consider legal counsel.

After I quickly changed the name to SuperSite for Windows NT 5.0, Microsoft then pulled off another surprise: Less than the two months after the reviewer workshop at which it revealed its plans for NT 5.0, the company allowed its marketing department to screw up the product's branding, renaming it to Windows 2000. And semi-coincidentally from a timing perspective, the company began working on a new consumer Windows version codenamed Millennium. They would retain the consumer/business split of Windows 9x/NT for yet another product cycle.

So I changed the name to SuperSite for Windows and expanded the coverage to Millennium (and the later to other products).

Looking back on the 40 or so Windows 2000 articles I created specifically for the SuperSite (not included: WinInfo articles and UPDATE editorials), I see the enthusiasm I had for the product and the depth at which I covered its many changes. This is the stuff that comes solely of youth and energy, and while my enthusiasm sags occasionally today (and my youth is long gone, never to return), I can identify with the person who wrote this stuff and see the germs of my idealistic views of technology and how it can positive impact us all. God, I've become so broken over the past decade. :)

There are a number of interesting issues with these articles, but the biggest is that many were undated for some reason, so I had to research the dates and in a few cases simply guess based on context. And while I'm not trying to rewrite history here, I did rename some articles, replacing the old "technology showcase" headings with "feature focus" names where appropriate. By and large, I've tried to present these articles in the proper order and fashion.

As always, the newest articles are at the top. And if you navigate to the very bottom of this page, you'll see the very first two articles I published on this site.

Windows 2000 Datacenter Server Edition Overview - October 30, 2000

Windows 2000 Datacenter Server (Datacenter) extends the 32-bit family of Windows operating system into the high-end, scalable territory once dominated by UNIX. As a superset of Win2K Advanced Server (AS), Datacenter offers all of the capabilities of its lower-end siblings while incorporating all of the bug fixes in Service Pack 1 (SP1). But it also includes a number of enhancements and unique features designed to meet the needs of large data warehouses, large-scale science and engineering simulations, online transaction processing (OLTP), and other enterprises with heady requirements.

Slipstreaming Windows 2000 Service Pack 1 - September 4, 2000

As promised, SP1 can be easily integrated into a Windows 2000 install share using this slipstreaming feature and, best of all, it is completely automated. Here's how to make it work.

Windows 2000 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Review - June 23, 2000

In July, Microsoft will release Windows 2000 Service Pack 1 (SP1), its first comprehensive collection of bug fixes for the 32-bit versions of Professional, Server, and Advanced Server editions of this OS. Given the attention given to SP1, and the number of customers waiting for the first service pack, it's likely that the release of this update will initiate a new round of Windows 2000 corporate adoptions.

Teach Yourself Windows 2000 Server: Using TCP/IP, the Internet Protocol - May 25, 2000

In Windows 2000, Microsoft finally embraces the Internet at every level of the product, including standardization on TCP/IP--the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol or, more simply, the Internet Protocol--that is used by Internet hosts of all kinds.

Teach Yourself Windows 2000 Server: Introduction to Windows 2000 Networking - May 24, 2000

In Windows 2000, there are two general networking schemes that were basically carried over from Windows NT 4.0. In the simplest scheme, called peer-to-peer networking, each computer in the network is an equal. In the more complicated client-server, or domain-based, network, one or more powerful computers, called servers, provide services for user machines, called clients. Let's take a quick look at each of these models.

Teach Yourself Windows 2000 Server: Using Windows 2000 Server - May 18, 2000

Windows 2000 is the easiest Windows yet. And though the interface is largely similar to Windows 98 and NT 4.0, Microsoft has tweaked the user experience in subtle ways that makes it simpler yet more powerful, enabling beginners and power users alike to get their work done efficiently.

Introducing Windows 2000 Server: Windows NT/2000 Timeline - May 8, 2000

A timeline of major Windows and NT milestones.

Teach Yourself Windows 2000 Server: Introducing Windows 2000 Server - May 8, 2000

Windows 2000 is the most exciting and important product that Microsoft has ever created, a family of operating systems aimed at the corporate server and desktop markets that combines the latest technology with ease-of-use and simplicity features. As the first major upgrade to Windows NT since version 4.0 shipped in July 1996, Windows 2000 represents the next generation of the reliable, scalable, and secure operating system we've all come to know and respect.

Customizing a Windows 2000 Professional Installation - March 14, 2000

Many users would like to perform a true custom installation of Windows 2000 from the get-go. And such a thing is not only possible; it's actually pretty easy. But in typical fashion, it's also not very obvious, even though everything you need comes right on the Windows 2000 CD-ROM.

Windows 2000 Professional Review - February 17, 2000

Windows 2000 is not for home users of any stripe. Instead, this OS is designed specifically for mobile and desktop machines running in businesses. Find this controversial? Get used to it: If you have to ask, Windows 2000 probably isn't for you.

Should You Upgrade to Windows 2000? - January 6, 2000

I get a lot of mail, but the question I get asked more than any other is: Should I upgrade to Windows 2000? The question is generally prefaced with a short explanation of the hardware that person uses, the software they have installed on their system, and/or the operating system they are currently using. Because of the complexity of this question, I've decided to write up the definitive explanation of why you should--or shouldn't--upgrade to Windows 2000.

Creating a Custom Administrative Taskpad in Windows 2000 - January 1, 2000

Taskpads present a simple graphical front-end to the available tools in a pleasant HTML interface. They hide the underlying complexity of the tool you're using by presenting only the most common options. And because you can create your own Taskpads for any MMC-based tool, it's possible to create custom Taskpads for Windows 2000 that provide a handy front-end for the tasks you perform most often.

Command Line Options for WINNT.EXE and WINNT32.EXE in Windows 2000 - December 31, 1999

Windows 2000 uses unintuitive winnt.exe and winnt32.exe executables for installation. These programs take a variety of command line parameters that are poorly documented and, in some cases, even incorrectly documented. For example, even Microsoft's extensive Windows 2000 Resource Kit doesn't correctly list all of the command line parameters these programs can use. So to my knowledge, this is the most complete list anywhere.

The Windows 2000 CD-ROMs: What You Get - December 30, 1999

As an eager world awaits, Microsoft's partners are busy burning the CD-ROMs you'll receive in your boxed copies of Windows 2000, which are due in retail stores by February 17th. Wondering what you'll get? Well, wonder no more. Here's a first look at the contents of the Windows 2000 Professional and Server CD-ROMs!

Upgrading to Windows 2000: What Upgrades What? - December 20, 1999

Well, it's here. And you're sitting at home with Windows 98 or at work with Windows NT and wondering what you can do about upgrading to Windows 2000. A quick look at the Microsoft Web site betrays a bewildering number of Windows products. For many of these products, there's an upgrade. But which products will upgrade to which versions of Windows 2000?

Road to Gold: A Look at the Development of Windows 2000 - December 15, 1999

For over two years now, I've charted the development of Windows 2000 from its roots as a decent upgrade to Windows NT 4.0 to its current status as uber operating system. Given the massive development time of Windows 2000, it's probably useful to take a look at all of the changes that have occurred over this time and understand how this OS came to be what it is.

Top 10 Reasons Why Windows 2000 Pro is Better than Windows 98 - December 1, 1999

After using Windows 2000 Professional for more six straight months now, I've come to love the little improvements it brings to the Windows user interface. So after a week with Windows 98, I came up with this list of things I missed most from Windows 2000. This stuff if purely user interface related, from a user's standpoint; I don't discuss esoteric topics such as the NT kernel or whatever. But when it comes to actually using Windows, this where Windows 2000 Professional really kicks butt.

Windows 2000 Feature Focus: Using the Recovery Console - September 25, 1999

In Windows 2000, the repair option in Setup gives you a choice between two confusing options, neither one of which is exactly like the old NT repair functionality. To be honest, the NT 4.0 repair option was much easier to use, but the repair capabilities in 2000, which were purportedly designed in response to customer feedback, are no doubt more powerful.

Installing Windows 2000 Professional - September 18, 1999

With Windows 2000, the past (NT 4.0) is married with the future (Neptune) in ways that are sometimes pleasing, sometimes aggravating. The installation process is a wonderful example of this dichotomy.

What's New in Windows 2000 Release Candidate 2 (RC2) - September 15, 1999

Windows 2000 Release Candidate 2 (RC2, build 2128) is the final major release before the product is released to manufacturing, a feature-complete look at the most ambitious operating system project ever undertaken by Microsoft.

Installing Office 2000 on Windows 2000 Terminal Services - September 5, 1999

Terminal Services is a new application server in Windows 2000 that integrates the functionality from the previously separate Windows NT 4.0 Terminal Server into the base Server operating system. The most popular group of applications that administrators will want to install on Windows 2000 Terminal Services is Microsoft Office 2000. And though Office 2000 was designed with Terminal Services in mind, you can't just install it on a Terminal Server out of the box. Let's take a look at how you need to install Office 2000 to work with Terminal Services.

Windows 2000 Feature Focus: COM+ - July 30, 1999, updated March 6, 2000

Think of COM+ as "the Windows 2000 version of COM," COM on steroids, COM mixed with the next version of Microsoft Transaction Server (version 3.0), or COM with a host of new services. The COM programming model, however you look at it, sounds the death knell for the monolithic desktop applications of the past.

Administering Windows 2000 Server with the Admin Pack - July 16, 1999, updated March 6, 2000

Though Windows 2000 Professional includes a good number of Admin tools that will connect to remote machines, it doesn't come with the full complement of tools you get in Server Edition. To fix this, you'll need to be able to access a Server install through My Network Places. And the tool you're looking for is called the Windows 2000 Admin Pack.

Using the Windows 2000 Resource Kit Tools - July 9, 1999

For Windows 2000, Microsoft is preparing a new Resource Kit that contains some old favorites, some nice improvements, and some totally new tools that take advantage of new Windows 2000 features such as Active Directory. And like previous editions of the RK, you'll need to be comfortable with the command line to truly take advantage of this package.

Upgrading Windows 98 to Windows 2000 RC1 - July 1, 1999

Mobile users, so-called power users, programmers, and anyone else that likes to get the most from their system are good candidates for the upgrade from Windows 98 to Windows 2000. But will it work?

What's New in Windows 2000 Release Candidate 1 (RC1) - July 1, 1999

Windows 2000 Release Candidate 1 (RC1) brings hundreds of thousands of Microsoft's customers that much closer to the final version of this milestone operating system. In addition to bug fixes and new drivers (such as native SB Live! and 3dfx Voodoo3 support), Windows 2000 RC1 also delivers a few new features.

On the Road with Windows 2000 - June 26, 1999, updated March 6, 2000

I figured I'd try to take advantage of the new mobile features in Windows 2000 Beta 3. These include Offline Files and Folders and Offline Web Pages. The goal here, of course, is to give the mobile worker access to network and Internet resources when a pervasive connection isn't available (such as at 30,000 feet). Let's see how (or if) they work.

Improvements in the Windows 2000 Command Line - June 13, 1999

Though most of the user-related improvements in Windows 2000 are pretty obvious and related to the graphical user interface, Microsoft has actually been working to improve the command line interface (CMD, the Windows 2000 CLI) as well. The Windows 2000 command line gives you access to a fairly rich environment, especially when compared to its Windows 9x relations.

Removing the Explorer Nag Screens in Windows 2000 - June 13, 1999, updated March 6, 2000

By default, Windows 2000 tries to hide the complexity of the system from users while also providing a level of protection for itself from those same users. One of the methods it uses is the new Explorer nag screens, and for many out there, this kind of safeguard can be downright annoying. Any self-respecting power user will want to get rid of this feature.

Removing Windows Components after Installation in Windows 2000 - May 14, 1999, updated March 6, 2000

In Windows 2000, Microsoft removed the custom install option, which allows the user to pick and choose the desired components that are installed during Setup. What if you've already installed Beta 3 (Professional or Server) and would like to remove some of the more annoying Windows components, such as the Accessibility features or the games?

Windows 2000 Professional Beta 3 Review - April 30, 1999

Windows 2000 Professional is designed for business desktops and corporate mobile users that require access to their data and personalized settings regardless of physical location. Though it is designed solely for businesses, power users and software developers will probably flock to Windows 2000 Professional as they did with Windows NT Workstation. And they should: This is the best desktop operating system that Microsoft has ever created.

Windows 2000 Server Beta 3 Review - April 30, 1999

With the introduction of Windows 2000 Server Beta 3, Microsoft raises the bar for mid-level department servers, home/small office servers, and web servers by offering a reliable and scalable upgrade to Windows NT 4.0 Server that implements the best features of its predecessor while improving some of the more problematic areas. And like Windows 2000 Professional, Windows 2000 Server is a compelling upgrade.

Application Compatibility: A Month with Windows NT 5.0 - September 26, 1998

In my month-long experience with Windows NT 5.0, however, I've tried to retain the default settings (for the most part in an attempt to live with NT 5.0 the way Redmond intended, and I've installed the programs I normally use. So I'd like to share some observations about how Windows NT 5.0 works as a replacement for current versions of Windows (95, 98, or NT 4.0). Specifically, I'm going to take a look at the programs I've installed and determine whether they work in NT 5.0 at all and, if so, how well.

Windows NT 5.0 Feature Focus: My Network Places - September 18, 1998

Network Neighborhood, the stalwart network resources browser from previous versions of Windows, has been replaced in Windows NT 5.0 with "My Network Places," a cutesy name for a disarmingly different piece of functionality. One might assume that My Network Places is simply a renamed Network Neighborhood. One would be wrong with such an assumption.

Windows NT 5.0 Feature Focus: Folder Options - September 11, 1998

Windows NT 5.0 includes an integrated component of the system Control Panel called Folder Options that can be used to set folder options on a folder- or system-wide basis. Depending on how you access Folder Options--via the Control Panel applet or from the View menu in a My Computer/Explorer window, you may see different options.

Windows NT 5.0 Feature Focus: Internet Explorer 5.0 Beta - September 4, 1998

Internet Explorer 5.0is more componentized than its predecessor and, in a bid to stay ahead of the feds should things turn disastrous in court, can be broken down into small enough chunks so that users can install only the system file updates if needed. Overall, IE 5.0 is an incremental, evolutionary rather than revolutionary, upgrade to IE 4.0. It appears to address most of the problems of IE 4.0 while adding new user-oriented features.

Windows NT 5.0 Feature Focus: Personalized Menus - August 28, 1998

The Windows NT 5.0 Explorer is designed for simplicity, so beginners can get to work quickly, and customization, so power users can configure their environment as they see fit. Personalized Menus is, perhaps, one of the more controversial in the new user interface and I suspect many people will hate it. But over time, we will just accept this feature and grow to deal with it. Heck, we might even grow to love it.

Windows NT 5.0 Feature Focus: Customizing System Management - August 23, 1998

This article takes a look at the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) in broad terms and then describes the steps needed to create a custom management console. The examples in this article are based on Windows NT Workstation 5.0 Beta 2; please note that a Server setup will offer even more management possibilities.

Windows NT 5.0 Workstation Beta 2 Review - August 23, 1998

Windows NT Workstation 5.0 is, at first glance, very similar to Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows NT 4.0. Day-to-day use of Windows NT 5.0 is, therefore, notably similar to previous versions of Windows although there are many improvements as well.

Windows NT 5.0 Beta 2 Technical Reviewer's Workshop - August 23, 1998

The Windows NT 5.0 Technical Workshop was held at the Sheraton Towers in downtown Seattle on August 18 and 19, 1998. Microsoft Senior Vice President Jim Allchin opened the conference with a technical and marketing overview of Windows NT 5.0, and he was followed up by a series of technical sessions on distributed services, core architecture, networking, communications and printing, distributed applications, management infrastructure, IntelliMirror, hardware support and multimedia, mobile enhancements, and user interface.

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