|Platform(s)||IA-32, x64-64, Xbox, ARM|
|Source Model||Open Source|
|License||GNU Lesser General Public License|
Some time in 1996, a group called FreeWin95 was formed with the goal to implement an operating system that would be a free, Open Source clone of Windows 95. Unfortunately, like many such Open Source projects, stylistic differences inhibited FreeWin95's progress and it never accomplished its goal. By the end of 1997, when Windows 98 was released, FreeWin95 had burnt out.
It was around this time that Jason Filby became project coordinator and called on everyone still subscribed to the mailing list to revive the project. It was decided that the new target should be Windows NT, and that there would be an emphasis on results - on written code, rather than endless talk. The project was renamed ReactOS, since the roots of this new OS grew out of a dissatisfaction with Microsoft Corporation's monopoly over the operating system market. In February 1998, ReactOS officially began.
The first few years of ReactOS were painfully slow, despite the large amount of code that was being written. Only a few of the developers knew how to write kernel code. It was a time of only a few people writing the difficult kernel beginnings. Later, as the kernel became more complete and stable, and as basic drivers such as the IDE and Keyboard drivers were written, more people were able to get involved in the development.
The main goal of the ReactOS project is to provide an operating system which is binary compatible with Windows.
Current Status of ReactOSEdit
With the release of 0.3.15, there are many improvements included. Preliminary support for USB mice, keyboard, and storage devices has been coded, and the session management subsystem has been rewritten. An alternate "ReactOS Memory Management Module" has taken over all memory management responsibilities, except for specific sections. AHCI is now supported via an updated UniATA driver.
ACPI is also supported, as is Wi-Fi support (unencrypted and WEP only), in addition to standard Ethernet. ReactOS is also capable of "VMWare awareness", where it detects that it is being run in a virtual environment.
Various ports of ReactOS exist, that can run on different arcitectures. Listed are the ports currently known.