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ReactOS 0.3.1 Released

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the fresh-bits dept.

Operating Systems 189

fireballrus writes with news of the release of ReactOS 0.3.1 — press release, changelog, download packages. ReactOS is "an open source effort to develop a quality operating system that is compatible with applications and drivers written for the Microsoft Windows NT family of operating systems (NT4, 2000, XP, 2003)." The press release notes: "Please don't forget this is an alpha-stage operating system, which means it is not suitable to replace your main OS. Also, this release is aimed to be run mostly in virtualizers / emulators (like QEmu, VMWare, Parallels, etc): because of the big amount of changes, our development team was not able to test/fix all problems which arise when running ReactOS on real hardware."

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189 comments

Nice to see them plugging ahead (4, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 7 years ago | (#18310842)

I've messed with ReactOS on and off for awhile. They really deserve some kudos for what they've accomplished to date, even if the system isn't really usable yet. I strongly encourage you to check them out if you're at all interested in the project; they've done some nice coding to date but can use all the help they can get.

As mentioned, it's perfect to diddle with in a VM environment, though I have loaded it on a dedicated test machine before and that was a lot of fun too.

Re:Nice to see them plugging ahead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18310912)

They really deserve some kudos for what they've accomplished to date, even if the system isn't really usable yet.

I'm not sure it will ever really be usable. I don't mean that as a insult towards the developers, either. I think the main usability problem involves the system that they're duplicating: Windows NT. Windows NT is virtually useless today.

As a server platform, it's eclipsed by *BSD, Linux, OpenSolaris, and a host of other operating systems. For use as a workstation, again it's pretty useless. WINE on Linux runs virtually every Windows program I've tried. And if it doesn't directly run some Windows program, there's usually a far superior open source alternative.

The only thing I see it being good for is as a hobby for its developers. If they enjoy working on it, good for them. But it'll probably never be of any practical use.

Re:Nice to see them plugging ahead (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18311192)

WINE on Linux runs virtually every Windows program I've tried.
You must not have tried many Windows programs. I'm usually more surprised when something somewhat works. To even get to that point it takes considerable tweaking. Crossover acceptably when using supported applications, but if you stray from that it's little better than Wine.

Re:Nice to see them plugging ahead (2, Insightful)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311662)

It doesn't seem that you know that ReactOS and WINE share a lot of work. For example, the wine Task Manager was created for ReactOS and then integrated into wine. So far, ReactOS has benefitted more from the sharing, but as ReactOS gets more complete, the extent of the sharing increases.

Re:Nice to see them plugging ahead (1)

gfody (514448) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311340)

Is there a possibility of running this XP clone on non x86 hardware?

Re:Nice to see them plugging ahead (4, Funny)

ZephyrXero (750822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311362)

"Is there a possibility of running this XP clone on non x86 hardware?"
maybe if you were running it through an emulator...

Re:Nice to see them plugging ahead (1)

Diordna (815458) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311984)

I'm on a crappy old PPC eMac and I booted it once in QEMU just for kicks. Worked, but vvveeeerrrrryyyyyy ssssllllooooowwwwwwlllllyyyyyyy.

Re:Nice to see them plugging ahead (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18311706)

Sort of. I've run earlier versions under QEmu on my G4 iBook.

Re:Nice to see them plugging ahead (1)

Foolhardy (664051) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311850)

NT is designed to be portable, and Microsoft has ported it to MIPS, Alpha, PPC, x86, Itanium and AMD64 each at one time or another. The ReactOS developers are retaining NT's portability, but running anything other than x86 is a very low priority right now.

Re:Nice to see them plugging ahead (1)

nrdlnd (97720) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311814)

Yes - this is a very nice thing so you don't have to be suspected being a criminal! Wine doesn't always work and there are some instances when you need to run some Windows only programs. The best way (most convenient) is to run Windows in an emulator but it's ridiculous to have to pay for a full Windows license for this. I have bought a license for the Windows XP64 mainly to be able to profile my monitors for serious picture work. The calibrator is not supported in Linux. The system I'm working in is Linux (Ubuntu). A couple of programs that I need are Windows only and I think it could be nice to run them in an emulated environment. I have registered my copy of XP64 but I think it will be a nightmare to register the second copy of exactly the same "legal" copy when I run it in an emulated environment on exactly the same hardware (computer)!

Re:Nice to see them plugging ahead (1)

MADCOWbeserk (515545) | more than 7 years ago | (#18312166)

It is unlikely that you will find an application that will work on ReactOS that dos not work on wine or vice versa. Both projects share API code and research. Compiling ReactOS for other architectures other than 64bit x86 extensions would be doable but fairly useless as windows application binaries wouldn't work on it. For example, Linux runs happily on powerpc, macromedia has a flash plug in for Linux, but it will not run on my Linux ppc box, because it is compiled for Linux x86.

While I was excited in the early days of ReactOS, actually the NT kernel is fairly advanced, I am less so now. There isn't a single windows application that hasn't been ported or I haven't found a Linux substitute for that I need. Linux, with it's source based structure and applications offers a flexibility NT can't come close too.

I could see a fork of the project where they put CYGWIN and X on top of the React kernel and dump the whole concept of full binary compatibility with windows (a lot of the simpler things that already work should still work). Then bring over the GNU tools and you could port just about any Linux app or window manager to it. Essentially it would give you another GNU distribution with a different kernel. Should have pretty good performance too.

simple thoughts from a simple mind...

Let's run this through bullshit filter (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18312106)

Let's run this through the bullshit filter, shall we?

"I've messed with ReactOS on and off for awhile."
Translation: I got bored, a few times, had more bandwidth than I knew what to do with, wasn't masturbating, nor downloading more porn so as to be able to do so again, and decided to give it a try.

"They really deserve some kudos for what they've accomplished to date, even if the system isn't really usable yet."
Translation: I was impressed, because I myself have no fucking clue how to write an operating system, at all.

"I strongly encourage you to check them out if you're at all interested in the project; they've done some nice coding to date but can use all the help they can get."
Translation: As I mentioned, I have no clue how to write an operating system, but, since I've come this far, I have to at least continue, so as to pump it up.

"As mentioned, it's perfect to diddle with in a VM environment, though I have loaded it on a dedicated test machine before and that was a lot of fun too."
Translation: Not only does it not do anything real in a VM, it doesn't do anything real if you actually inflict it upon some poor unsuspecting hardware that doesn't have the benefit of such protection, if you can actually dig up such hardware and assemble it into a working system in the first place.

THIS is "News for Nerds", "Stuff that Matters"?!?

Baby Jesus weeps, because kdawson got paid to edit, then post, this article.

Where do I apply for such a job?!? I have lots of similar stories, and some of them are at least as interesting as this story, and most of them are far more entertaining.

Or, if they aren't, it doesn't appear to matter.

News release: Linux Kernel 2.6.16.2023-ac.pl97- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18312156)

News release: Linux Kernel 2.6.16.2023-ac.pl97-ß31 available.

lol

Cool project (4, Informative)

26199 (577806) | more than 7 years ago | (#18310852)

The legal issues are kinda scary but it looks like they have them under control [reactos.org] . All respect to them for attempting the impossible... and from the look of it, they're a good way to succeeding :)

Re:Cool project (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18310902)

The legal issues associated with reverse engineering an operating system to run programs originally written for windows should not be any scarier than those associated with reverse engineering (clone) the hardware to run software written for IBM PC. IBM had deep pockets and a penchant for enforcing its large IP portfolio, but the cloners won.

Re:Cool project (5, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311088)

On the other hand, at that point in time IBM wasn't really all that interested in stopping the development of clone PCs, for a variety of reasons. Had they really chosen to throw their weight around, they most certainly could have, in which case someone else would have taken over (which might have been a good thing for world of personal computing, when you get right down to it.)

Apple, in fact, spent far more time in court suing the likes of Franklin Computer (who, in many ways, had a better product.) Granted, that may have been simply because IBM didn't perceive the personal computer as being a big part of their future, at that point in time, since big iron was still their bread-and-butter. However, if you want to get into the history of anticompetitive behavior at IBM, check out out how they dealt with anyone making plug-compatible components for their mainframe systems in the 60's and 70's. That was a very different story. There's a guy named Amdahl that would be happy to enlighten you.

Besides, the legal climate for reverse-engineering is decidedly less friendly to cloners than it was in, say, 1981.

Re:Cool project (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18311100)

Except some of the ReactOS developers peeked at the Windows source code. Or, as the ReactOS developers put it, "...the term reverse engineering can mean many things to many different people."

http://www.reactos.org/en/news_page_14.html [reactos.org]

Re:Cool project (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311684)

All I can say is God Bless these people for trying to do what is so badly needed in the world of computing right now. Until we get a real competitor to the Microsoft/Apple hegemony that can actually run the professional programs that people need, we users are going to continue to suffer under hobbled applications, less-than-stellar interfaces and substandard quality control (and that's just Windows - Apple has their own problems with being able to bring a product that gives good value to the market - and not just to the enthusiast).

I believe it was the brief threat of OS/2 that made MS and Apple get their acts partially together way back when. We saw both those companies put out products that were far more sturdy and usable in the period after OS/2 hit the market.

But what's really necessary is a solid, well-financed commercial operating system that can run current Windows and/or (why not?) Mac applications on widely available hardware. I keep hearing all this yada yada about "virtualzation". Well, I've read the Wikipedia entry on virtualization and I don't know why we can't see a bold product that could run the apps we want the way we want them. Vista is a horror. Leopard is fine if you don't have to justify buying the overpriced package (and I mean Mac Pro. I need a serious desktop system and an iMac just isn't it.)

Not long ago, nobody would have believed that Apple would come out with an OS based on BSD. Everybody believed MS would come out with a stinker like Vista. I believe that there are innovators out there who still have the ability to surprise us with something spectacular. Lord knows a world of users would run to them with open arms.

But it has to be well-financed, commercial. Honestly, I don't care if it's almost as expensive as a Mac. Something galls me about having to pay the high premium on average hardware that you get with a Mac Pro. I just want a viable, professional choice.

Re:Cool project (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 7 years ago | (#18312168)

I believe it was the brief threat of OS/2 that made MS and Apple get their acts partially together way back when. We saw both those companies put out products that were far more sturdy and usable in the period after OS/2 hit the market.

At the time when OS/2 "hit the market" (and for some years thereafter), it was a Microsoft product.

What timeframe are you actually thinking of ?

Re:Cool project (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18311904)

There's also this little gem at the end: "If people made mistakes and there was a violation of the law, I question the justice of the law and or anyone that would try to prosecute any of the developers who just want the freedom to learn and create a more free system."
--
"I am the law." - Judge Dredd

Re:Cool project (1)

MADCOWbeserk (515545) | more than 7 years ago | (#18312226)

Actually Compaq did not reverse engineer the hardware of the IBM PC. IBM used fairly common standard components in order to speed development. They were already x86 computers using similar parts to the IBM. However they were not compatible. Compaq reversed engineered the bios which allowed for full software compatibility. Compaq was also extraordinarily careful to cover their legal asses. They used two teams of engineers who had never laid eyes on a PC. One team measured BIOS outputs to different inputs, the other team took those measurements and designed another bios that produced the same results. IBM would have like to sue, but Compaq carefully documented the entire process.

what's in a name? (0)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18310858)

ReactOS is "an open source effort to develop a quality operating system that is compatible with applications and drivers written for the Microsoft Windows NT family of operating systems (NT4, 2000, XP, 2003)."

That's great and all, but does it comply with Newton's Third Law?

Re:what's in a name? (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311768)

Of course... Microsoft made a new driver system and API for Vista, which could be considered a force in the opposite direction, as things written specifically for Vista are not cited as being compatible with ReactOS.

But I have to know... (4, Funny)

Arceliar (895609) | more than 7 years ago | (#18310878)

does it run cygwin?

Re:But I have to know... (1)

andreyw (798182) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311248)

Why not? It implements Win32. Hell, cygwin probably runs under Wine. *snickers*

Re:But I have to know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18311530)

You think that was funny? I am so tired of these cliched responses. You waste my time, and the time of everyone else who is actually interested in ReactOS and hoping someone posts something interesting about it.

Re:But I have to know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18312082)

Yes but we all need to know if it runs Linux, and how well a beowulf cluster of these would run, Stateside as well as in Soviet Russia.

this is kinda weird (0, Flamebait)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#18310896)

If you're going to make an OS from scratch that's completely comapitible with Windows, it's file system, and its programs then why don't you skip all the hard stuff and just build a complete interface replacement for XP or Vista and make that do whatever you want and leave the kernel to do all the stuff Microsoft already got mostly right? Seems like a whole lot less work. Of course, you'd have to have a nasty, long install and still own a copies of windows though.

Re:this is kinda weird (3, Insightful)

xtracto (837672) | more than 7 years ago | (#18310920)

Because it is not Free? as in Beer and as in Libre?

Re:this is kinda weird (1)

goarilla (908067) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311012)

why don't you skip all the hard stuff and just build a complete interface replacement for XP or Vista
i don't get it are you talking about a new shell/graphical interface like geoshell, liteshell, ...
and all the others which can be easily found on this page http://www.shellfront.org/ [shellfront.org]
i know what the goal is of ReactOS, to create an open-source free Windows alike os
and they are obviously doing an incredible job, they are kinda reverse-engineering windows if i can call it that

but ILuvRamen i really don't understand what you're saying, please explain

Re:this is kinda weird (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311040)

because this way we have a tiny squishy portal we can use to host windows only programs personally i would like to see the EU force Microsoft to write enough docs and blank off the patents so that reactOS could become a drop in replacement for XP .

Good News For Compatibility (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 7 years ago | (#18310900)

While Microsoft drags their feet with compatibility both with the Justice Dept here in the US and with the European Commission, it's nice to see people working on projects like this which potentially will enhance the interactivity between all platforms. Macs and Linux get along fine but Windows doesn't want to get along with anyone. Maybe ReactOS (being an open source project) will finally force Microsoft compatibility without their consent.

Screenshots (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18310904)

hmm (1)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18310908)

I wonder if Microsoft has any tricks up their sleeve to deal with these guys. Hidden API functionality perhaps.

Re:hmm (2, Insightful)

The Mysterious X (903554) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311078)

If there are hidden API's, then that means nobody knows about them, which means, nobody uses them (apart from MS software, but lets be honest, if you're running a free NT clone, you aren't going to be running MS office are you?), which means that it won't affect them in the slightest.

And if there are any hidden API's, the DOJ and EU will hit MS with the antitrust stick.

API changes might be an issue, but again, if the API's are in use, they can't do this without breaking other software. Hiding stuff from a competitor is one thing, but deliberately crippling a rival's software?

That would earn them the antitrust battering ram.

It also wouldn't make much business sense; who would want to develop for a platform where the goalposts are constantly moving?

Re:hmm (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311246)

(apart from MS software, but lets be honest, if you're running a free NT clone, you aren't going to be running MS office are you?)

Yes, actually.

Re:hmm (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311954)

It also wouldn't make much business sense; who would want to develop for a platform where the goalposts are constantly moving?

You just described everyone who's been developing on the Microsoft bandwagon for the past twenty-five years or so, me included. The goalposts not only move, but they have JATO units attached to them that fire at random intervals. Now ... does that make much business sense? No, not really: but that's how things work in the world of Microsoft operating systems.

There was a old saying... (1)

El_Oscuro (1022477) | more than 7 years ago | (#18312132)

The next release of DOS wasn't ready until Lotus wouldn't run on it.

R-e-a-c-t-i-n-g .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18310972)

Why? Such wasted effort to duplicate a flawed system of software.

Re:R-e-a-c-t-i-n-g .... (4, Insightful)

Jartan (219704) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311102)

Why? Such wasted effort to duplicate a flawed system of software.


Well it would be interesting to see if the effort allows them to fix some of the flaws and continue to run a lot of the software. For me personally I look at this sort of an effort as a perfect solution to the main thing that keeps me from ditching MS: games.

Re:R-e-a-c-t-i-n-g .... (4, Insightful)

catbutt (469582) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311166)

Because most applications that people use are written for Windows.

Once you give people other options for running those apps, that aren't controlled by a company trying to protect their monopoly, you open up a lot of possibilities for the industry to move away from Microsoft lock-in.

Re:R-e-a-c-t-i-n-g .... (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 7 years ago | (#18312184)

Why? Such wasted effort to duplicate a flawed system of software.

Just like Linux was, you mean ?

Awesome (3, Informative)

MrP- (45616) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311018)

Wow, it's just like Windows.

I installed it under Parallels, ran Solitaire and it rebooted and then disconnected my network outside of Parallels.

Seriously though, yeah it's alpha but it's pretty cool. Great work!

Reactos Alpha = Windows Beta? (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311062)

It would be interesting to compare Reactos' interpretation of Alpha vs Microsoft's. What's the BSOD rate?

Re:Reactos Alpha = Windows Beta? (1)

dhasenan (758719) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311722)

Patent 6,379,553: Method to Display Failure Information

A method and system are provided for displaying failure information on a limited resource computing device. Unparseable textual messages are displayed upon failure. ...

4. The method of claim 3, in which the screen is blanked before the message is displayed.

5. The method of claim 4, in which the message is displayed on a blue background.

---

As you see, React cannot legally implement the Blue Screen of Death.

Re:Reactos Alpha = Windows Beta? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18311810)

That would be so leet! I bet M$ Windoze has a lot more BSOD's than Reactos. Har har, Microsucks Windoze has bluescreens all the time!

Does it run Duke Nukem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18311044)

;)

Please don't forget that this is an alpha stage OS (1, Flamebait)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311098)

...and that when or if it should ever reach beta (or, god forbid, release) stage it will be sued back into oblivion by Microsoft for an almost infinate number software patent violations.

I mean, come on guys...you know it's going to happen, it's just a matter of time. Why not invest your time and money into something that isn't litigation-bait?

downmods don't make it any less true (0, Flamebait)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311256)

mod my comments down all you like, but it's a fact that once ReactOS becomes any sort of threat (real or percieved) to Microsoft, Microsoft will break out the lawyers and the software patent lawsuits.

Hide your heads in the sand all you want to...it's your time you're wasting, not mine.

Re:downmods don't make it any less true (2, Insightful)

j-pimp (177072) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311368)

mod my comments down all you like, but it's a fact that once ReactOS becomes any sort of threat (real or percieved) to Microsoft, Microsoft will break out the lawyers and the software patent lawsuits.

Hide your heads in the sand all you want to...it's your time you're wasting, not mine.


Maybe these people will be able to get jobs as system programmers as a result of this. Maybe they want to see how far they can go before they get sued. Maybe they are hoping that by the time this get to that point the world will be more reverse engineer friendly. Maybe this is just civil disobedience.

In the 70's and 80's UNIX was a product developed by a big company, the phone company to be precise. it has since become an idea replicated many times, always poorly, sometimes less poorly than K&R's implementation. Why can't that happen to windows?

Please Look a File Server Location. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18311738)

Its in a country were patents don't apply.
So Microsoft shutting them down is imposable.
At worst in countries with software patents people might have to buy a once off license from Microsoft as required to be acquirable under patent law.
So Microsoft is stuffed. Buy a copy of SUSE Linux and run Reactos side by side with that and you are covered.

When Reactos goes stable I would not want to be holding Microsoft Shares.

Re:Please don't forget that this is an alpha stage (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18311268)

because

a) there are no patents (yet*) in Europe, so we can still use it.

b) the more small targets MS has, the more difficult it will be for them to cause real damage before we get the law changed to stop their suits and close them down

c) we can learn much abou the Windows API which only real study can teach us. This will be useful in anti-trust lawsuits if nothing else

* http://ffii.org/ [ffii.org]

Re:Please don't forget that this is an alpha stage (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311302)

a) by the time ReactOS is usable, there will be. Also, american law is enforcable overseas; cf AllOfMp3 closure and The Pirate Bay raids.

b) you're assuming that they'll be acting alone; they have novell's help on the Linux front, and slapping a Cease-And-Desist on ReactOS would be trivial.

c)the only thing useable in an antitrust suit would be the undocumented apis...which have nothing to do with ReactOS. Anything done in ReactOS can easily be found and studied via MSDN.

Re:Please don't forget that this is an alpha stage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18311422)

AllofMP3 is still up, as is thepiratebay, please find other examples to support your assertion.

Re:Please don't forget that this is an alpha stage (1)

hcmtnbiker (925661) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311600)

a) by the time ReactOS is usable, there will be. Also, american law is enforcable overseas; cf AllOfMp3 closure and The Pirate Bay raids.
b) you're assuming that they'll be acting alone; they have novell's help on the Linux front, and slapping a Cease-And-Desist on ReactOS would be trivial.
c)the only thing useable in an antitrust suit would be the undocumented apis...which have nothing to do with ReactOS. Anything done in ReactOS can easily be found and studied via MSDN.
a) thepiratebay and AllOfMP3 are up and running RIGHT now, it may have influence on political decisions(which Visa/Mastercard banning allofmp3 and thepiratebay raid both where), but its not enfoceable unless they hold the same law.
b) A Cease-and-Desist order is always trivial, all it is is an official statement saying stop or I'm gonna sue you. It's a form, that's it.
c) MSDN CAN be concidered insider knowledge and therefore not able to be used in reverse engineering of the software just as a leak in source code would be illegal to be used inside a clone software or even for studying the original.

Having said that....
Reverse-Engineering is protected under law so unless microsoft can prove they are using leaked NT source code the actual reversing is prefectly legal. The thing that scares me is the trivial things that I'm almost cirtain M$ has copyright on such as the [Start] Menu, they could have picked any other name then Start for it but kept it.

Re:Please don't forget that this is an alpha stage (1)

jx100 (453615) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311688)

IIRC, they've actively tried to limit the usage of copyrighted strings to only places where it's technically infeasible to not use them. Places like the registry have to have data in places like /Microsoft/Windows are examples.

And, if I recall a case involving Nintendo and.. Galoob(?) correctly, a simple copyrighted string cannot be used as access control. I'm not absolutely sure it would apply here, but it seems like a workable defense.

Re:Please don't forget that this is an alpha stage (1)

Digital Avatar (752673) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311764)

a) by the time ReactOS is usable, there will be. Also, american law is enforcable overseas; cf AllOfMp3 closure and The Pirate Bay raids.
Oh, you mean that site that's STILL UP TODAY? http://www.thepiratebay.org [thepiratebay.org] ? That one? Yeah, real enforceable.

Re:Please don't forget that this is an alpha stage (2, Interesting)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311280)

What if, as it becomes closer to a release product, it becomes decentralized. Anyone who had done enough work on the original ReactOS walks away from the project perhaps with a public request not to use their work. What if there is no one person or entity to sue? Patches could be written for specific issues by the user community, so support would be distributed as well. Basically, is there a way to spread the legal vulnerability/liability between so many people, that MicroSoft would have to resort to suing thousands of individuals for very small amounts, with a limited chance of success in each case?

Re:Please don't forget that this is an alpha stage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18311308)

What was the last time Microsoft ever sued anybody over patent infringement? Sure, they go after trademark infringers, and copyright infringement is a constant battle. But patents? MS is the defendent in any patent battle I've ever seen (countersuits excluded).

dom

Re:Please don't forget that this is an alpha stage (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311334)

No one has ever gone after MS's meat and potatoes before. Also, what do you think MS is preparing to do with all the patent noise over "linux IP violations"?

Re:Please don't forget that this is an alpha stage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18311432)

"No one has ever gone after MS's meat and potatoes before. "

This can be disproven here: http://www.openoffice.org/ [openoffice.org]

How to Avoid Vista (4, Insightful)

rueger (210566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311130)

The only reason why a lot of us would upgrade to Vista is because Microsoft will stop supporting our current OS with bug fixes and security updates. Vista to me looks like a nightmare of DRM and restrictions on what I would want to do, but I can see my current Win 2K install becoming as outdated and unsupported as Windows 98.

If React OS can keep me running my current Windows apps in a sensible, secure, and supported environment, then I can avoid Vista. That means less headaches, and less expense.

Really, these folks may have found a really nice niche.

(Honestly, looking at Vista make me think that this is the time when someone, whether Linux, Mac, or something else, could make significant inroads.)

Re:How to Avoid Vista (5, Insightful)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311172)

>If React OS can keep me running my current Windows apps in a sensible, secure, and supported environment, then I can avoid Vista. That means less headaches, and less expense.

Which is exactly why Microsoft will dig deep into it's legal fund and patent portfolio and nuke reactos off the face of the planet the very second that ReactOS becomes a practical alternative to Windows.

Re:How to Avoid Vista (3, Interesting)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311320)

Doubtful. Reactos has been around a LONG time. They've always been very careful to avoid any actions that would be legally unsound. If you play the game right, you can legally clone a system and there's nothing that they can do to you. BTW, if they happened to sue ReactOS, WINE is in trouble too. Most of the Windows API code that actually deals with running programs they closely model on each other.

In any event, the whole topic is moot. If they sue based on software patents, then ReactOS can simply move the servers to a country that doesn't recognize them (and there are will plenty of those).

Re:How to Avoid Vista (1)

Michael Woodhams (112247) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311476)

And will the developers move to Outer Elbonia too? If MS had a (e.g.) U.S. court declare that Reactos was an Unclean Abomination That None May Look Upon, I'm pretty sure that the courts would frown on a U.S. resident developer who continued to work on it and claimed US laws didn't apply because they submitted the patches to a server in Outer Elbonia.

IANAL

Re:How to Avoid Vista (1)

Sodki (621717) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311674)

And will the developers move to Outer Elbonia too? I doub it. It's very hard to live in a mud country with computers made of cardboard.

Re:How to Avoid Vista (1)

Darundal (891860) | more than 7 years ago | (#18312220)

I doubt they would be able to. The guys producing ReactOS went through a self-imposed code audit awhile back, because someone informed them that some patents might have been violated. The way they have been running things, about the only thing they could possibly nail them on at any point would be violating their trade dress for Windows.

Re:How to Avoid Vista (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18312228)

HAHAHAH! Yeah right!

They can do what they want, but ReactOS is open source. It can still be distributed and developed, though underground.

Re:How to Avoid Vista (3, Funny)

linguizic (806996) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311206)

I'm betting that Apple is making significant inroads. The idea of running XP for 7 more years drove me to buy a macbook.

Re:How to Avoid Vista (1)

weg (196564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311546)

I believe that Microsoft will support XP way longer than ReactOS will be around...

FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18311620)

Vista to me looks like a nightmare of DRM and restrictions on what I would want to do, but I can see my current Win 2K install becoming as outdated and unsupported as Windows 98.

Web of lies!

I've been pirating games, movies and music non-stop since I upgraded to Vista. I record HBO movies with MCE then upload it to my iPod. I don't know what this DRM stuff is you speak of but it's not as big of a problem as make it out to be.

Posted AC for obvious reasons.

Re:How to Avoid Vista (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18311838)

The reason people upgrade to Vista is because they are nerds or because they are buying a new computer. The bulk of my family still use Win98, and *shudder* ME.

Re:How to Avoid Vista (1)

Scratched (912253) | more than 7 years ago | (#18312114)

I can see my current Win 2K install becoming as outdated and unsupported as Windows 98.

I don't think that will happen too soon. Windows 98 was based on the DOS kernel. Windows 2000 was the first mainstream MS OS to be based on the NT kernel. All Windows OSes have been based off the NT kernel since 2000 (and of course even before that, but not as mainstream). Since Windows 2000 uses a kernel similar to XP and Vista, I can see MS supporting it for a while (or at least it would make sense to). MS isn't giving 2000 some things, such as IE, but I don't think they'll cut it for a few years still. I can also see software developers continuing to make things compatible with 2000 since it shouldn't be very hard to do seeing as it uses a very similar kernel.

I realize that the NT kernel has been updated and changed quite a lot over the years, but I'm pretty sure it's similar enough to keep support for a while.

Please stop Bundling Win32 Qemu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18311226)

I'm not running Windows, I'm sick of every VM image I download coming with a bundled windows version of this emulator. Can a man just get a qcow or is that too much to ask?

What's the point? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18311244)

By the time the OS will be anywhere near usable and a "drop-in-replacement" for Windows XP, WinXP will no longer be supported by M$ and there will have been the next 5 releases of windows out. Really why not just focus on getting windows programs to run on other OS'es like using wine on linux. A lot of programs already can be run with wine or crossover office and I'm sure Linux has lots of other great programs which can replace many of the programs which people would want to use ReactOS to run anyway. Or focus on the next generation of windows programs using .Net using mono.
The only thing I'd really love to see is a way of using windows drivers under linux. I have a feeling that it is a very difficult thing to do though otherwise I'm sure it would have been done by now.

Re:What's the point? (3, Interesting)

dosius (230542) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311266)

Keep in mind that they share a lot of their user-level code with WINE, and the WINE and ROS teams do help each other, this is in their FAQ.

-uso.

I'm not trolling (1, Insightful)

solevita (967690) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311270)

I just don't understand.

an open source effort to develop a quality operating system that is compatible with applications and drivers written for the Microsoft Windows NT family of operating systems
but

this release is aimed to be run mostly in virtualizers / emulators

So it won't run (or at least won't run well) on actual hardware, so that's the driver issue nullified. I'm not running ReactOS for the drivers, it's running with virtualisation under my already free OS. So I'm running it so i can run Windows programs under my free OS? Why not use WINE? Or push for some standards compliant software that produces results under any operating system? Of course, business situations may require some specific proprietary software, so why not use the specific, proprietary OS?

I try to use only free software, but if I had to use some software under Windows, I'd run Windows. Creating an alpha environment to run proprietary software just seems wrong.

Re:I'm not trolling (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18311306)

So it won't run (or at least won't run well) on actual hardware, so that's the driver issue nullified. I'm not running ReactOS for the drivers, it's running with virtualisation under my already free OS. So I'm running it so i can run Windows programs under my free OS? Why not use WINE? Or push for some standards compliant software that produces results under any operating system? Of course, business situations may require some specific proprietary software, so why not use the specific, proprietary OS?

WTF do you expect? It's version 0.3.1.

Re:I'm not trolling (1)

solevita (967690) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311330)

WTF do you expect? It's version 0.3.1.
Thank you Mr. Anonymous Coward, I know it's version 0.3.1. Is that a reason to use it though? You didn't really answer my question.

Re:I'm not trolling (1)

kv9 (697238) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311424)

Thank you Mr. Anonymous Coward, I know it's version 0.3.1. Is that a reason to use it though? You didn't really answer my question.

you use it for testing? that sounds like a pretty good reason for using alpha software.

Re:I'm not trolling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18311614)

Testing what???? ReactOS? You really must be thick and can't read can you? He doesn't care whether it's version 0.3.1 or 2.3.1, why use it at all when it fills absolutely no need? Why waste time developing it?

Re:I'm not trolling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18311914)

It's both funny and sad how the terms "alpha" and "beta" have been abused to the point where people seem to have no idea what they actually mean.

Yes, the point of this testing release of ReactOS is to test ReactOS. To a user who is not interested in either developing ReactOS or helping out with the testing, it's probably most useful simply as a demo of what you can expect ReactOS to do in the future. Why use it when it fills no need? Don't use it if it fills no need. Use it if you want to help test the software, or if you feel like seeing a demo of how far open source emulation of the Win32 platform has come at the moment.

"Why waste time developing this software if the testing releases aren't useful?" is an absurd question. All software developed in a semi-standard manner has had testing releases(internal or external - ReactOS is developed openly and thus they naturally make their testing releases public) that were of no practical use compared to finished software available at the time.

Re:I'm not trolling (1)

catbutt (469582) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311414)

I try to use only free software, but if I had to use some software under Windows, I'd run Windows. Creating an alpha environment to run proprietary software just seems wrong.
But what if you were running Windows, and wanting to move to another OS such as Mac or Linux....but you realize you have to keep Windows for one or two apps? Or maybe you don't HAVE to, but if you have to give up those apps, you'll lose some productivity.

Nothing is outright STOPPING you from moving to the new platform, but it sure becomes a lot harder to justify it. Something like WINE or ReactOX can help a lot in making the switch economically practical and smoothing the transition. (I think someone else pointed out that WINE and ReactOS draw from the same codebase)

Re:I'm not trolling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18311548)

If you are already using windows then you already have a licence to use it. So why would you install a free knock-off of something which you have already paid to run? Just dual boot. Or use WINE if you want to run the program in the new OS. That still gives you no reason what so ever to use ReactOS.

Re:I'm not trolling (1)

jx100 (453615) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311756)

There is the issue of better support. Microsoft only supports products for a limited time. If you want to update Windows 95 (because your business depends on it) to reflect the new time change, you can't go to Microsoft for a patch. As ReactOS is Free, you could go and find some programmer willing to update it whenever you felt the need to.

Re:I'm not trolling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18311794)

Perhaps it's hardware upgrade time, and you feel that continuing to use Microsoft Windows is no longer in your best interests. You'd need to go buy new licenses to run Windows on the new hardware.

As for WINE... that may or may not be an option, for various reasons.

Re:I'm not trolling (1)

jbengt (874751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311502)

"Why not use WINE?"
From what I understand, the WINE and ReactOS teams work closely together, so improvements in one will often lead to improvements in the other

Re:I'm not trolling (1)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311648)

Knowing very little about either ReactOS or WINE, I can only presume the difference is goals.

The WINE project is for creating a windows emulator for Linux, and future releases of WINE will stay that way; ReactOS currently works best in an emulation environment, but aims to eventually work right out of the box, on any box.

It looks ideal for people like me: I know close to nothing about how to use Linux (much less administering it), so using WINE would mean learning Linux too, and finding new and creative ways of replacing the programs I've collected on my Windows box. This requires time and effort that I don't have.

Consider word processors instead of operating systems: If I'm a completely new computer user and want to start using OSS, it may be just as easy for me to learn LaTeX as to learn OpenOffice.org; however, if I'm already familiar with MS Office, it's much easier to learn OpenOffice.org than to learn a whole new way of creating documents.

- RG>

Re:I'm not trolling (1)

physicsnick (1031656) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311956)

So I'm running it so i can run Windows programs under my free OS?
No, you're running it so you can help develop and test it. No one is advocating running it in a VM in a production environment. It's a testing and development release. Obviously the real thing will run on the bare metal; it's just not ready for that yet.

Creating an alpha environment to run proprietary software just seems wrong.
This is just stupid as hell. They don't make it alpha on purpose. It's not finished yet.

Looking for somone (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18311328)

Looking for Sara from work (she knows who she is). FYI you're underwear is done drying- and you still look fat in your pants

nice to see this progress but (4, Interesting)

sentientbrendan (316150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311418)

my understanding is that their compatibility with win32 is largely based on wine, and so it has most of the same bugs running win32, and then some.

What I'd really like to see is some major company getting behind reactos and wine. Getting a portable win32 layer really working to the point where it's no longer just a toy is going to take a major effort, more of an effort than the open source community seems willing to put forward at this time. Working win32 is a real possibility, but it needs a lot of people to get behind it.

Re:nice to see this progress but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18311742)

To be fair to WINE, it is already more than just a toy. I am able to run the full Starsiege Tribes (original version) without problem using version 0.9.27 - this includes sound, accelerated graphics, and a working mouse (which oddly enough seems to be the hardest part to keep straight, since 0.9.28 broke mouse support again, despite claiming to have improvements to mouse behavior...)

Re:nice to see this progress but (3, Funny)

catbutt (469582) | more than 7 years ago | (#18312146)

To be fair to WINE, it is already more than just a toy. I am able to run the full Starsiege Tribes
Yes, and to back up the statement that it's not a toy, I should point out that here at NASA, we are using Starsiege Tribes to design the next Mars rocket.

Re:nice to see this progress but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18311940)

Major companies have gotten behind WINE (Transgaming, CodeWeavers, etc). This problem is deeper than you could possibly imagine. Windows is layers upon layers of API's, bizarre quirks, and it continually grows by massive amounts every year.

WINE has been around forever and they still just barely can run anything.

Does it run on Xen without VT? no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18311750)

I assume the answer is no. Otherwise it would be in the changelog.

Obligatory... (1)

isny (681711) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311826)

I've been running this in a virtual machine on Windows and haven't seen anyx938U#Jklx j *** NO CARRIER *** Well, I guess I was wrong. At least Windows allowed me to save what I had previously typed, and Windows is so stable tha83jkJKLEv &#j3kR *** NO CARRIER ***

Great. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18311934)

Now I've got to explain to people why they CAN'T toss out windos and use react OS to all my clinets. Thanks open source people.

So what's up with these guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18312030)

If I had an infinite amount of time and partition space on my hands, I'd install it. But I wonder if the people in this project think about the following things:

1) Does ReactOS have any workable "killer apps" that might fuel further adoption and development? I'm sure Linux did in the 1.x days.

2) Have they thought about extending the Windows NT environment as well as embracing it? For instance, adding a "fork(2)"-like ABI/API/system call, Unix/Linux compatibility layer, embedded support for X clients, etc? You might be able to do things Cygwin can't do to improve the way Linux/Unix(TM)/*BSD/Windows work together.
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