Windows 2000 is an operating system that provides both a GUI (Graphical User Interface) and a command-line interpreter. Since Windows 2000 is intended primarily for business and home-consumer markets, the GUI is naturally the predominant method of using the operating system. However, the command-line environment provides a text-based interface to the operating system that is useful for programmers and system administrators.

We will begin by examining the history of Windows and the organization of the Windows file system. Next, we will learn how to use the command-line interpreter and how to create Windows shell scripts (also known as batch files). Finally, we will examine the basics of Win32 API programming and learn how to use Visual C++ 6.0 to develop simple Windows applications and libraries.