NTFS or New Technology File System is the standard file system of Windows NT and its descendants: Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. Windows versions 95, 98, 98SE and ME cannot natively read NTFS filesystems, although third-party utilities (commercial, shareware & freeware) do exist for this purpose.
NTFS is also usable on other operating systems beside Microsoft Windows: Linux (some versions). However the many NTFS features may have limited success and usablity on these operting systems. There are also freeware removable storage programs which can format into NTFS, and NFTS-Compressed. One such example is designed by Hewlitt-Packard for Flask-Disk (USB) type of memories.
NTFS replaced Microsoft’s previous FAT file system, used in MS-DOS and early versions of Windows. NTFS has several improvements over FAT such as improved support for metadata and the use of advanced data structures to improve performance, reliability and disk space utilization plus additional extensions such as security access control lists and file system journaling. The exact specification is a trade secret of Microsoft.
NTFS has five versions: v1.0, v1.1 and v1.2 found in NT 3.51 and NT 4, v3.0 found in Windows 2000 and v3.1 found in Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. These versions are sometimes referred to as v4.0, v5.0 and v5.1, after the version of Windows they ship with. Newer versions added extra features. For example, Windows 2000 introduced quotas.