To my surprise, symbolic and hard links are partially supported even by windows 2000. Here is a small summary:
``How to create a symbolic link under Win2K, WinXP, and above?'' -- this google-answers document was my starting point.
CreateHardLink function establishes a hard link between an existing file and a new file. This function is only supported on the NTFS file system, and only for files, not directories.
CreateSymbolicLink function creates a symbolic link. Requires Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008.
And finally, junctions or reparse points (from http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/fileio/fs/reparse_points.asp):
A file or directory can contain a reparse point, which is a collection of user-defined data. The format of this data is understood by the application which stores the data, and a file system filter, which you install to interpret the data and process the file.
This feature can be used to create links to directories. It is exactly what I need!
The tool to exploit the feature: Junction v1.05.