Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 18th Jan 2010 16:06 UTC, submitted by fireball
ReactOS The ReactOS project aims to be an open source Windows NT-compatible operating system which can run Windows applications and utilise Windows drivers. Obviously, this is quite a daunting task, and as such, progress has been relatively slow. As a result, project coordinator and kernel developer Aleksey Bragin has proposed a rather drastic solution.
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It's true, exclaiming your disgust at a product does not hinge on your ability to make a product of your own. You're free to not like the product, and it doesn't take a chef to tell you that the food's bad. But proudly touting your ignorance on a subject without first asking of the subject's relevance is a mug's game.

An OSS project attempting to replicate Windows will have a lot of advantages if successful:

1. An open operating system that has a built-in compatibility with most hardware created today. You take any other OS: Haiku, BSD, SkyOS, even Linux still, and the chance for many of those OSs to grow is very remote considering it's all tailored for hardware that at best has only basic functionality with that operating system. Few write drivers for an operating system possessing less than 1% of the market, and I doubt they're going to start.

2. This project will assist many other projects meant to replicate one part or another of Windows compatibility. Given the sheer volume of closed APIs they have, if one can find a way to openly replicate them, then other OSs can also implement a compatibility layer that will open up a cornicopia of programs to them and certainly go a long way to level the playing field, forcing MS to work harder on their OS in order to compete.

3. As windows does progress, it tends to can a lot of it's compatibility with older programs. DOS, Win 3.1, Windows 95, right on up to Windows XP all have access to programs that Windows 7 and Vista are no longer able to run properly. Sure, it's all well and good to tell someone to stick to their OS if they're in need of a certain program, but without support that OS will lose functionality in enough places where it will eventually become unfeasible to use that OS for any other reason than to execute a specific program.

You flippantly characterize this project as some sort of deluded fever dream, but even if the OS never reaches 1 on 1 functionality with the latest Windows OS(which, let's face it, it probably won't until MS gets lazy again), the very act of the project accomplishes enough to make it a worthy endeavor. Continue using your commercial Windows. It's fine that you do, there are certainly enough programs on there to justify doing so. But to boldly state that the project has no value without actually asking anyone if there's something you missed(and clearly there is) is irresponsible at best and gloriously, obnoxiously ignorant at worst.

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