"Windows 2000 is the most widely tested product in the history of Windows software development," said Jim Allchin, vice president of Microsoft's Platform Group.
Microsoft has been working for three and a half years on this operating system, which is aimed at businesses of all sizes, Allchin said.
The three versions that are being released to manufacturing today are:
-- Windows 2000 Professional, designed for desktop and portable PCs;-- Windows 2000 Server, a network operating system designed for servers at small businesses and departments which supports up to 4-way symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) configurations;-- Windows 2000 Advanced Server, a version designed for heavier workloads than Windows 2000 server that supports up to 8-way SMP configurations.
A fourth version of Windows 2000 -- Datacenter Server, for even heavier workloads -- will be ready between 90 days and 120 days after the February release of the first three versions, officials said.
The Windows 2000 family of operating systems has been designed with improved management and performance features that will result in faster and more reliable system operations, officials said.