Differences Between Windows NT & Windows 2000


Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 are two operating systems created by Microsoft and marketed for business users. The two operating systems were released several years apart: Windows NT 4.0 in 1996, and Windows 2000 in 2000. Owing in part to the significant amount of time that passed between the releases of the two operating systems, Windows 2000 has several features that Windows NT 4.0 does not.

System Requirements

  • Windows NT 4.0 has slightly more modest system requirements than Windows 2000 Professional. However, both operating systems have very reasonable requirements by today's standards. Windows NT 4.0 requires at least a 25 MHz 486 processor and 12 MB RAM, while Windows 2000 Professional requires at least a 133 MHz Pentium processor and 32 MB RAM.

Support Lifecycle

  • Windows NT 4.0 reached the end of its support lifecycle in 2004, while support for Windows 2000 Professional ended in 2010. This means that in Microsoft's point of view, both operating systems are obsolete. Security and performance patches will no longer be released for either operating system. However, much more recent security patches have been released for Windows 2000.

New Hardware Features

  • Many of the new features in Windows 2000 make the operating system easier than Windows NT 4.0 for non-computer professionals to use. For example, Windows 2000 supports Plug and Play hardware, while Windows NT 4.0 does not. This means that hardware resources in Windows NT 4.0 must be assigned and configured by the user. Additionally, Windows NT 4.0 does not support Universal Serial Bus (USB) hardware. A large percentage of the external computer hardware available today connects to the computer using a USB port, including hard drives, printers and scanners. None of these items are available to you on a computer running Windows NT 4.0.

Features for Laptops

  • Windows 2000 contains Advanced Power Management, a feature designed to improve battery life on laptops. Advanced Power Management gives the computer the ability to adjust the speed of the processor depending on the current workload. If the computer is idle, the speed of the processor is reduced to save battery power. Additionally, Windows 2000 supports the low-power standby and hibernate modes, while a Windows NT computer must be turned off completely when it is not being used.

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