There are tools that let you run some Windows apps on open source, Linux-based operating systems like Ubuntu and Fedora. But what if you want an operating system that basically acts like Windows… but is completely open source?
That’s the idea behind ReactOS, an operating system designed to offer compatibility with Windows 2000 and later. The software has been development for years, and it’s still a long way from complete.
But today it’s one step closer. ReactOS 0.4 release candidate one has been made available for download and testing.
The new software offers a number of improvements over the builds released last year, including improved support for hardware including better sound, networking, and USB support.
Wondering what kind of software you can run on the latest version of ReactOS? There’s a test results page on the operating system’s wiki that shows a list of programs that do or do not work.
Not surprisingly, a lot of the programs that do work are open source applications that are also available for GNU/Linux, including LibreOffice and Firefox. But there’s also support for software that normally requires Windows, including Media Player Classic and Notepad++.
At this point ReactOS still isn’t really all that useful as a desktop operating system. But it’s impressive to see that this ambitious project continues to chug along.