Microsoft CEO Bill Gates demonstrated Windows 2000 earlier this week at Spring Comdex and unlike last year's infamous Windows 98 crash at the same event, it went well this time around. Gates demonstrated the bandwidth availability features of Windows 2000, where system administrators can actually control the amount of network bandwidth each client gets on a Windows 2000 network. But the big demo--and admittedly, this will be a cornerstone of my own Windows 2000 review next week--was the introduction of Windows Terminal Services (WTS), an add-on for Windows 2000 Server that allows for multiple simultaneous remote access to the server.

Unlike the previous version of this, which was sold as a separate version of Windows NT (Windows NT Terminal Server 4.0), WTS will be available as an option during the install of any Windows 2000 Server product, including Advanced Server. It's basically a remote session on the server, which the full Windows desktop, similar to a graphic Telnet session or a remote X Window session for UNIX users. But because this is Windows, users with even ancient Windows 3.x machines and little RAM will be able to use this feature to run the latest software--such as Office 2000--over a Windows 2000 network or the Internet at full speed. It's exciting stuff.

Other Windows 2000 features demoed by Gates includes file synchronization for mobile users, new power management capabilities, and multiple monitor support (a demo was preformed with three monitors). Gates also demonstrated the new Microsoft mouse, which does away with the mouse "ball" and instead uses an optical sensor to more accurately portray movement. Gates says the new mouse signals an end to an era for computer mice, since the new version is far more reliable, never needs to be cleaned, and won't break as often because it has fewer moving parts. It's looks good; expect to see it in stores this fall.

A couple of other comments of note: Windows 2000 will ship in October, as expected and the Consumer Windows that ships in 2000 will be the last version of Windows based on the Windows 9x kernel (but then, we've heard that before)