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Is ReactOS for real?

Discussion in 'Computers & IT' started by jefboyardee, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. jefboyardee

    jefboyardee Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Jan 18, 2011
    Been getting concerned about Win8 taking over the XP world, about XP being driven to extinction. So I found this possible alternative:
    ReactOS is a free, modern operating system based on the design of Windows XP/2003. Written completely from scratch, it aims to follow the Windows-NT architecture designed by Microsoft from the hardware level right through to the application level. This is not a Linux based system, and shares none of the unix architecture.

    The main goal of the ReactOS project is to provide an operating system which is binary compatible with Windows. This will allow your Windows applications and drivers to run as they would on your Windows system. Additionally, the look and feel of the Windows operating system is used, such that people accustomed to the familiar user interface of Windows would find using ReactOS straightforward. The ultimate goal of ReactOS is to allow you to remove Windows and install ReactOS without the end user noticing the change.
    And some opinions thereof:


  2. Prinny

    Prinny Resident Linux Nutcase

    Apr 15, 2012
    Greenville, SC
    Honestly, it LOOKS legitimate...however I'm not sure the legality of it...

    I'll have to read into it more, but my major concerns are this:

    Windows Based OS is Windows...Not sure about clones, as they are usually illegal. Microsoft is known as a closed-source system, whereas they own the rights and whatnot.

    Although I'm reading a lot of the forums/wiki as we speak, and it seems legit...

    Honestly, though? I'd wait a little bit, as it is in alpha...as far as a release date, with this things you can't really say. I'd rather wait another year or two, and have it work.

    I'll definitely look into this more, and see if I can find out more information.
    9to5cynic, ocnbrze and jefboyardee like this.
  3. thenameisnigel


    Oct 30, 2012
    Far Rockaway, NY
    I've tried it on Virtualbox and I wouldn't advise installing it as installing ANY driver causes a kernel panic. It's completely legal though since they aren't hacking into Microsoft and stealing their source codes..
    mikedt, ocnbrze and jefboyardee like this.
  4. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    Sep 22, 2010
    Jinan, China
    ReactOS has been around for a long time, however it still does have a long way to go.
    Speed Daemon likes this.
  5. psionandy

    psionandy Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2009
    button pusher
    Windows XP still gets a fair share of patching and security fixing from Microsoft. The biggest reason why companies are getting rid, is that once the deadline passes there won't be any fixes and so its open season for XP hackers...

    If Reactos really is that close to windows xp... then security would be my biggest concern. ..

    At work I'd replace anything that won't run win7 (win8 is too new)... and at home if you have legacy winxp machines i'd go to ubuntu instead
  6. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2012
    I've been dabbling with ReactOS since it was nothing but a kernel and a command processor that couldn't execute much of anything because there were no DLLs to handle the system calls. Today it's good enough to use as a learner desktop for small children, and a good free OS if it runs the apps that you need to run. It's lacking all the features of Windows, but considering how Microsoft is altering Windows constantly it's a minor miracle that it does as much as it can.
  7. robert_rcr

    robert_rcr New Member

    Apr 23, 2011
    Med. Tech
    Milky Way Galaxy, New York
    This just got my attention I'm going to download it now and try in tomorrow.
  8. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2010
    We have Apple suing over the shape of some other maker's phone or perhaps it was the use of Pantone 18-1648 TCX. Anyway, if MS is inclined, a few lawsuits will end ReactOS because my guess is ROS can't afford to go to court.

    I would try the OS and see if it works for you. You might have driver issues which can be a bit of a bother.
  9. saptech

    saptech Well-Known Member

    I'm sure if MS wants to be the A-hole that it is, it can sue. But, ReactOS
    Prinny likes this.
  10. pbf98

    pbf98 Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2011
    .NET Developer
    Ok, sure they're not stealing source code from Microsoft, but isn't the windows platform intellectual property? as in the basic designs of the OS..

    I see what they're trying to do though
  11. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2012
    If you're referring to the "look and feel" of Windows, there's too much prior art out there for any single company to claim sole ownership of the WIMP interface. Most of the constituent parts of WIMP were developed during the 1960s, and in the 1970s Xerox was selling workstations that used WIMP in concert.

    Apple Computer, Inc. paid Xerox in stock shares for the rights to the WIMP interface in a "handshake agreement", and shared it with Microsoft, which was developing much of the software for the Apple Lisa and Macintosh at the time. Later ever-litigious Apple sued Misrosoft and HP, claiming sole ownership of the concept of the GUI. In what was not a very bright move for Apple (they lost), the legal precedent for precisely who had rights to what were set in various court decisions.

    The bottom line was that only the original owner, Xerox, had the right to sue over ownership, and sue they did. Unfortunately the handshake and stock payment was found to be a binding contract, and Xerox' case against Apple was dismissed. Microsoft wasn't sued by Xerox, BTW.

    As a 3rd party, Microsoft has very little to be able to sue over. They didn't invent the GUI or the WIMP interface. In order to get software developers to write software for Windows, Microsoft has published many of the key Windows APIs, effectively putting them in the public domain. If Microsoft did sue, there's a pretty good chance that they could come out being the big loser, which could cost Microsoft dearly. Because Microsoft has little to gain by suing over a perpetually obsolete Windows knock-off, and a lot to lose, there's not much chance that they'll sue.

    As for the operating system, specifically the NT Executive, HAL and associated libraries, ReactOS has gone to great lengths to develop its own OS under clean room conditions, meaning that they can prove that they developed ReactOS all by themselves, thus giving Microsoft nothing to sue over. This is how Compaq and others reverse engineered the IBM PC BIOS and began producing "IBM clones".

    The final nail in the coffin for a Microsoft v. ReactOS suit is that Microsoft hired Dave Cutler away from Digital Equipment Corp. to design what we now call Windows. Cutler developed several operating systems for DEC, and brought a number of DEC employees with him to build what was then called Windows NT. After years of scrutiny it's pretty clear that Cutler didn't start with a clean slate when he started work on Windows NT, and borrowed heavily from VMS, the flagship OS of DEC. DEC was bought by Compaq, and Compaq was bought by HP. If Microsoft tried to sue over any of the kernel/OS part of Windows, HP could step in and sue Microsoft, probably with far more success than Xerox had against Apple.
    mikedt likes this.

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