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Windows 2000 is a name that reflects NT's continued move to the technology mainstream.

Redmond, Wash. -- October 27, 1998 -- In a move that combines the latest desktop improvements of Windows NT Workstation with the name recognition of Windows, Microsoft announced today it will stop distributing products under the separate Windows NT name and instead use the product name Windows 2000--Built on NT Technology. The company says the move reflects the product's growing acceptance as the mainstream operating system for the start of the next millennium.

Microsoft says it's logical to make the name change now, before a significant release like Windows NT 5.0. While Windows NT has momentum and awareness in a specific technology community, there are millions more consumers who know Microsoft products by the Windows brand name. This move aims to build on the company's best known product name--Windows.

The company says Windows 2000 will offer the best of both worlds, combining the power and reliability of NT with many of the features of Windows 98, including ease of use and mobile support. Because the system will no longer be geared only toward high-end workstation users, Microsoft says it makes sense to drop the term "workstation" from the name.

In the same vein, Windows NT Server will now be called Windows 2000 server. As the Internet becomes increasingly popular, and the distinctions between clients and servers blur, servers are becoming more prevalent, not just in corporations but also in smaller businesses and even homes. Microsoft says this name change will help reflect the scalability of the Windows family across a broad range of hardware devices, and provide users with a consistent naming strategy for both client and server operating systems.

Windows 2000 is expected to ship in 1999.