ReactOS is an open-source Windows project, and the developers' recent newsletter highlights some of the key updates the OS will be receiving in the near future. These updates include initial DirectX support, UEFI boot support for modern devices, UI improvements, as well as compatibility prep for NT6+ applications — which will enable ReactOS to run apps designed specifically for more modern Windows OS apps, from Vista to Windows 11.
Currently, the ReactOS team is working toward a 0.4.15 release for its open-source operating system, which could include some of the features mentioned above (albeit in an experimental stage). Sadly, development has not gone smoothly due to unexpected regressions and bugs. The last version 0.4.14 update for ReactOS was released two years ago, which reveals how slow development has been for this point release. The devs have neglected to issue a release date, but nightly builds of the new update are available for users to try right now.
One of the largest updates being developed right now is UEFI boot support for modern systems. This will enable ReactOS to run on newer PCs and laptops with UEFI firmware, as well as the capability to support ARM hardware alongside x86. EFI chainloading is also being developed so users can dual-boot ReactOS with another OS installation. For demonstration purposes, the developers showed off the new bootloader working on a Framework laptop, iPhone 5c, Lumia 950XL smartphone, and Vavle's Steam Deck.
Another critically important update being worked on is NT6+ support. This will enable ReactOS to run all modern Windows-based applications, including apps designed for Windows 11. For demonstration purposes, the devs showed off OBS 20.1 running on ReactOS in a nearly perfect state. Unfortunately, the devs revealed this feature will take a lot of time to develop, meaning we probably won't see this in the upcoming 0.4.15 release.
Other features being actively developed include a debugger overhaul, UI/shell improvements, and bug fixes focused on DirectX functionality. Once these updates are released, it will give ReactOS substantially greater compatibility and functionality with modern Windows applications and hardware, enabling ReactOS to reach its full potential. Maybe it will even be able to play modern games at some point.
ReactOS is an open-source alternative to Windows, designed to run Windows applications natively without the need for virtualization software or a translation API. The OS is in constant development, and both experimental as well as stable builds of the OS are available to download from the project's website.
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Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.
ReactOS is a pointless venture that seemed cool 15-20 years ago. That's all I gotReply
Why not just run genuine Windows? It's pretty cheap. Why bother with this "I can't believe it's not Microsoft!" cheap knock-off version full of headaches?Reply
Maybe it isnt full of adverts and constantly begging for personal information.Reply
jkflipflop98 said:Why not just run genuine Windows? It's pretty cheap. Why bother with this "I can't believe it's not Microsoft!" cheap knock-off version full of headaches?
Duplicating Windows was a sound idea when the project started in 1996 and Windows 95 was the most advanced version, but Linux, iOS/OSX, Android, BSD, and ChromeOS have come out and offer more utility in a better package. The project is a relic of a bygone era.
For the people who want their OS to stop giving them the "latest and greatest" while removing or hiding functionality they've come to rely on. While still having security updates.jkflipflop98 said:Why not just run genuine Windows? It's pretty cheap. Why bother with this "I can't believe it's not Microsoft!" cheap knock-off version full of headaches?
It gets old having to relearn or rehash options on someone else's schedule because your operating system vendor decided that now is a good time to change things that were working for you (this goes for Linux, too, as LTS versions are only supported for a brief period of time).
If you can role your own, it's no problem, but if you can role your own then you should already know that 95% of complaints don't apply to you.
Hmm, I thought that it was a dead project. It's nice to see that it's still alive. 👍Reply
If this takes off, it would be nice to have some kind of Windows OS that can run on old computers all the way down to the first Pentiums (with SSDs of course) for most basic work, assuming the security is in order. There's going to be a lot of computer trash when Windows 10 support is ended, and this could be some kind of alternative.Reply
You can always check Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ReactOSAndrewJacksonZA said:Hmm, I thought that it was a dead project. It's nice to see that it's still alive. 👍
The point isn't "free" as in the monetary cost, but as in "open".jkflipflop98 said:Why not just run genuine Windows? It's pretty cheap. Why bother with this "I can't believe it's not Microsoft!" cheap knock-off version full of headaches?
Also, aren't there interactions between the ReactOS, WINE and Proton projects?
All the people supporting this with "reasons" fail to comprehend we are going to be old and gone before ReactOS will be viable for any useful purpose.Reply