Windows 2000 includes hundreds of new printer, modem, and other hardware drivers, making hardware installation and setup more efficient. The merger of the Windows NT development and test teams with those of Windows 98 opened up the world of devices supported by Windows 98. Consequently, Windows 2000 supports device types that are difficult to use in Windows NT. A bidirectional parallel port driver lets Windows 2000 communicate with many more scanners, printers, and fax/printer/scanner devices.
Plug and Play (PnP) has finally arrived with Windows 2000, which is especially good news for laptop users. However, many older laptops need a flash BIOS upgrade or add-on software to take advantage of the power management of Windows 2000.
While adding much new hardware support, Windows 2000 retains compatibility with the Windows NT 4 video drivers. The catch is that using these video drivers disables the power management functions in Windows 2000, although all other Windows NT 4 drivers should work. Microsoft is encouraging video vendors to write new drivers for Windows 2000, and eventually all of the native Windows NT 4 drivers will be revised.