Some pretty bold claims by a Microsoft kernel engineer who works on the Windows kernel regarding ReactOS, the open source operating system that aims to be compatible with Windows.
Axel Rietschin, kernel engineer at Microsoft, has claimed that ReactOS, an open source operating system intended to be binary-compatible with Windows, is “a ripoff of the Windows Research Kernel that Microsoft licensed to universities.”[…]
He says that “internal data structures and internal functions, not exported anywhere and not part of the public symbols, have the exact same names as they appear in the Research Kernel.”
In his recent post, he presents further arguments against ReactOS being a “clean room” implementation done without reference to the source code. “Macros names, parameters, etc. never appears in the compiled code. It is … almost surely impossible that a clean-room reimplementation ends up using macros for the same things, let alone macros with the same or similar names.”
Reitschin does add he is no lawyer, but these claims do raise a number of serious concerns and questions about the ReactOS project. These claims alone will probably ensure no serious commercial entity will ever want to associate itself with ReactOS, and it will be interesting to see if these claims will ever lead to something more serious than mere words.