A free software win32 may be closer than you think

A free software win32 may be closer than you think

Imagine this picture...you turn on your PC, use Google Desktop to find a document, open it in Word 2003 and then print it to your Windows-only printer. A normal Windows users day right? Did I mention this person's OS is free software, is developed by a community and is in active development now?

That's right, there is a Windows replacement in the works (and now partially working!) that plans binary compatibility with Windows XP. That means you can use the same applications, the same drivers and have an easy UI. Talk about having your cake and eating it too!

So what is this free software miracle? It's ReactOS, "providing a ground-up implementation of a Microsoft Windows® XP compatible operating system." ReactOS is participating in the Google Summer of Code, so it should be getting even better as those projects are handed in.

ReactOS also has a range of screenshots available of the ReactOS shell working with Win32 programs. This is an excellent opportunity for the open source community to band together and get more projects available in this OS. (or maybe get this interoperable with Linux too)



David Sugar's picture

I wrote a little about ReactOS in a blog entry earlier this year. But yes, I agree it is an interesting effort, and has a useful place for those that do develop for Microsoft Windows, in much the same way that the original idea of having a free software based implimentation of Posix did for the Unix/Posix community.

Mitch Meyran's picture

It should include a complete TCP/IP stack, it works with some patched Nvidia drivers, it should include an ext2 driver... And if you can run it, it works well.

Unfortunately, I can't: it doesn't detect SATA drives yet - and all my drives now are SATA :p

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Robin Monks's picture


Robin Monks is a volunteer contributor to Mozilla, Drupal, GMKing and Free Software Magazine and has been helping free software development for over three years. He currently works as an independent contractor for CivicSpace LLC