I’ve always been big on trying new computer operating systems and such. Heck, I have beta tested every Windows beta since Windows 95 as part of Microsoft’s Technical Beta Team. I’ve got the golf shirt to prove it. However, the recent months have produced a lot of uncertainty, and finding a suitable replacement for Windows has crossed a number of people’s minds. That’s where ReactOS comes it. It’s a Windows compatible, alternative operating system that you might want to keep your eyes on.
ReactOS is a free open source operating system based on the architecture found in Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2012. Written completely from scratch, ReactOS is not a Linux variant and does not share any of UNIX’s architecture. ReactOS is its own animal entirely.
The main goal of the project is to provide an operating system that is binary compatible with Windows, allowing you to run Windows applications and drivers. It also has a similar look and feel so that familiar with Windows will find familiar and easy to use. With ReactOS, you get to use all of your Windows apps and device drivers without having to actually run the Microsoft operating system they were intended for.
ReactOS is a free open source operating system based on the best design principles found in the Windows NT architecture (Windows versions such as Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows Server 2012 are built on Windows NT architecture). Written completely from scratch, ReactOS is not a Linux based system, and shares none of the UNIX architecture.
ReactOS comes just at the right time. With all of the uncertainty that is oozing out of Redmond right now, having a Windows compatible alternative operating system is a GREAT idea. There’s a lot that is going to be good here, however, by the dev team’s own admission, the OS is not ready for everyday use yet. There is a live CD image, but I couldn’t even get that to run, and I tried booting it on 3 different machines.
There’s a bit of information out there about the OS, and it looks like it will REALLY be cool…someday; but not yet. I couldn’t even get the OS to start so I could take screen shots.
ReactOS is still in an Alpha stage, meaning it’s new, very buggy, much of the hardware that you might install on it won’t work right, and don’t even think about installing things like Microsoft Office on it. It likely WON’T work…or even install.
HOWEVER, this is something that most everyone here should keep an eye on. Depending on how things go for Microsoft, having an updated, current alternative to Windows that will allow you to install and run all of the software you want and need to get your job done, is going to be important. This is a good first effort, but it needs time to cook…