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ReactOS 0.3.15 Released 252

Posted by timothy
from the proactive-is-for-the-next-release dept.
Beardydog writes "From the ReactOS.org bulletin, 'The ReactOS project is proud to announce the release of version 0.3.15. A culmination of over a year of development, 0.3.15 incorporates several architectural enhancements to create a more compatible and conformant implementation of the NT architecture. Perhaps the most user visible enhancement is initial support for USB devices, both storage and input.'"
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ReactOS 0.3.15 Released

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  • by JDG1980 (2438906) on Thursday May 30, 2013 @03:22PM (#43865119)

    ReactOS is a project to build a free, open-source clone of Windows, compatible with both drivers and userspace software. Why on earth hasn't this received more support from the OSS community? It's the only realistic chance of dethroning MS from the desktop in favor of an open alternative. Linux is fine for servers, portable devices, and embedded systems, but trying to stick it on the desktop is a foolish dream that has failed for over 10 years.

    • by kthreadd (1558445)

      Why do you think that would be the only realistic chance? Apple seams to do fairly well with OS X, and that's not at all like Windows.

      • by JDG1980 (2438906)

        If there was a compatibility layer to run OSX applications on Linux, that might actually be a viable option. OSX has most of the big things people want: MS Office, Adobe Photoshop and friends, AutoCAD, etc. Conceivably, such a compatibility layer could be easier to write, debug, and maintain than WINE, since there is a lot less legacy baggage (and the underlying architecture is much closer to what Linux expects). But I am not aware of any such project so far, and I don't have anywhere near the level of syst

        • by Guy Harris (3803) <guy@alum.mit.edu> on Thursday May 30, 2013 @04:32PM (#43866159)

          If there was a compatibility layer to run OSX applications on Linux, that might actually be a viable option. OSX has most of the big things people want: MS Office, Adobe Photoshop and friends, AutoCAD, etc. Conceivably, such a compatibility layer could be easier to write, debug, and maintain than WINE, since there is a lot less legacy baggage (and the underlying architecture is much closer to what Linux expects). But I am not aware of any such project so far

          Well, there's the Darling project [dolezel.info]. I get the impression it's very much a work in progress, however.

        • If there was a compatibility layer to run OSX applications on Linux, that might actually be a viable option. [...] But I am not aware of any such project so far

          GNUstep aims for source code compatibility with Cocoa. In theory, the publisher (other than Apple) of a Mac OS X application could use Cocoa when porting it to GNU/Linux.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Hatta (162192)

      Linux is fine for servers, portable devices, and embedded systems, but trying to stick it on the desktop is a foolish dream that has failed for over 10 years.

      Linux has worked wonderfully on my desktop for over 10 years.

    • Don't know about you, but I've been using Linux exclusively since 2007, and it is on a desktop computer. Personally I've been pretty happy with it! Can't afford to buy Photoshop, MS Office and all the rest, so I use what is available in the Repository and seem to get by pretty well!
    • MacOS isn't too different from Linux. It's built from NeXTSTEP, FreeBSD and OpenBSD. NeXTSTEP was built on BSD to start with as well.

      (yes I am aware that Linux and BSD are completely different, but they are both "unix related")

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's obsolete, due to virtualization.

    • I can think of several reasons:
      • Reverse engineering something is much less fun than creating something new
      • ReactOS (as well as mono and wine) are destined to be playing catch-up with whatever Microsoft does. This puts them always one step behind their “competitor”.
      • Even further, Microsoft can always make it harder for immitators, by introducing complex new libraries and APIs.
      • And even if you manage to get over the previous hardles, Microsoft can always sue you for “copying their intellectual
      • by unixisc (2429386)

        The catch-up argument no longer holds. The current project is aimed at XP, and once it's done, they'd have a mature win32 OS that can address all x86 boxes. If they do a follow-on project that is aimed at Windows 7 and uses win64, that's all they'll have to do. There won't need to be a Windows 8 based OS - Windows 7 will be good enough. So future libraries that Microsoft introduces will be irrelevant.

        The legal hurdles can be real, though, but since this project points out that it does not use any MS

    • It's the only realistic chance of dethroning MS from the desktop in favor of an open alternative.

      It has no chance of dethroning Windows. Zero. Zip. Nada.

      Look, no one will ever be as good at being Microsoft as Microsoft is. ReactOS may be eventually be 99 44/100 % Windows compatible. It may look like Windows, feel like Windows, and act like Windows almost all the time--but it won't be Windows. And sooner or later, anyone running it will run into some instance where Windows does this but ReactOS does that. Now, when this happens (when, not if) developers will say, "That's interesting, we should fi

      • Well yes, but at the same time I only use Windows for one thing nowadays: running it in a virtual machine under Linux so I can run 3 programs that have no equivalent under Linux. If those programs work under ReactOS, I'll use that in a heartbeat. They must understand that beacuse the provide an already made VM among the downloads.
        • That's pretty much the kind of thing I was thinking of when I said, "I'm sure it will find its uses." It's very different from replacing Windows as the primary corporate and home user desktop OS, which is what I had the impression OP had in mind.

      • Even newer versions of Windows have to run legacy Windows software. How do you think a competitor would manage to move into that same market without being able to do the same?

        • Windows RT doesn't run legacy Windows software. It doesn't have an x86 emulator. Nor does it even allow developers of desktop applications to recompile them for ARM; the only desktop applications for RT are IE and Office.
      • by unixisc (2429386)
        This depends on Microsoft cleaning up its act on Windows 8. But really speaking, it'll be more & more difficult to move users to future versions of Windows, except maybe to end support for the existing ones. And that's where the opportunities for ReactOS will open up - once users are forced out of their comfort zone, they'll consider ReactOS, and if it works more or less the way Windows used to, it'll displace Windows in those places. Corporate sites may stay w/ Microsoft due to support contracts, b
      • by Bert64 (520050)

        Nothing is 99 44/100% windows compatible...
        Apps that ran on xp sometimes fails on 7 etc... There are many apps out there that require specific versions.
        So given that no version is fully compatible with all windows software, you just need a version that is compatible enough with the specific applications you want to run, which might actually require you to have multiple versions (eg in a vm). If reactos is good enough for your particular use case, then the fact it's free and open gives it an advantage.

        Window

      • The only use I can see even if it were mature would be handling ancient legacy apps that won't run on a new version of windows. If the program demands XP, then the options will be either XP (with a ton of security holes MS no longer patches) or ReactOS. And if MS stops selling XP licenses, there may be a very business-specific applications end up on it. But it's a very small niche.

    • But there are limits on what ReactOS can do - and pretty serious ones. For one, it can't use NTFS w/o violating Microsoft patents, so fat chance seeing a modern filesystem on it.

      I have previously suggested that the project be split into 2 or 3 parts - one win64, another win32 and a third win16. Have the win64 project aim at Windows 7, and target 4GB of RAM. Have the win32 aim at XP, and target 256MB of RAM and above, and for the win16, try something like a 16-bit thunked version of it. The goal of th

      • by Bert64 (520050)

        The only use for NTFS would be compatibility with existing filesystems... In terms of modern filesystems, there is no reason why reactos couldn't support things like zfs or btrfs which are far more modern than ntfs.

      • No reason it couldn't support ext-something. It won't be NTFS, but the software doesn't have to know that. It just sees files.

    • Because,
      1. By the time it's got a decent compatibility with Windows XP, we'll be on Windows 12.
      2. It's only legally safe because it's only a novelty. Should it become mature enough to use in a production environment, Microsoft would surely wish to assert about a bajillion patents. Most of them rubbish ones, but enough to cripple the project with legal costs and scare away developers.

    • by drolli (522659)

      Well. This is funny. If you put the effort which goes into ReactOS into developing a driver layer for the linux kernel which allows to expose windows driver functions after loading windows drivers to sw which may be interested and polishing wine a little bit, you have much better chances of developing a working Desktop replacment.

      Moreover: Linux may be failing on the desktop (somthing to be disputed), but linux is awfully sucessful everywhere else. The turning point probably was that sony startet to put lin

      • The turning point probably was that sony startet to put linux in all their products

        Huh? Sony took Linux out of the PS3 as of system software 3.21 and sued George Hotz for putting it back in.

        I must be really bored to fire up the email reader on my laptop. Usually all my communications go via my phone

        Good luck typing a three-paragraph reply on a 4" sheet of glass. And good luck seeing your e-mail and something else on the screen at once. Or do you carry a Bluetooth keyboard for making replies?

    • Totally true, I've always wondered about this myself. It should also be noted they use WINE quite a bit, so in supporting ReactOS, you would also be supporting WINE because they give back to the WINE community. Which reminds me, while I have been submitting App reports to the WINE Project, I still have a closet full of Games I need to get busy testing and making reports on. =)

      If about thirty of you Linux devs would join in part-time, I bet they (ReactOS) could get just a little closer to their Goal; if you

  • Back in the 1990's I was really excited about this project. I really hated how Microsoft had a strangle hold on the entire industry and there was no sign that it was going to change anytime soon. This project was promising in that it really offered a possible solution. But they're about 13 years too late. Far too little progress has been made. Microsoft has already been knocked off of its pedestal and now there are viable alternatives that consumers are embracing. Specifically, MacOS, IOS, and Android

It was kinda like stuffing the wrong card in a computer, when you're stickin' those artificial stimulants in your arm. -- Dion, noted computer scientist

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