ReactOS, the Windows-compatible OS, sees major updates

Aleksey Bragin and his team of developers have just released ReactOS 0.3.14, the new version of the operating system that wants to reimplement Windows XP/2003 compatibility outside Windows. The new release arrives after almost a year since the previous one, and during this time the project improved quite a bit on many fronts.

Even though it still is in alpha development stage (hence not recommended for everyday use), ReactOS is now a bit closer to achieving its main goal “to provide an operating system which is binary compatible with Windows” and which allows users to run the same software programs, tools, and device drivers they run on the oldie but goldy Windows XP.



The most important changes contained in ReactOS 0.3.14 include a completely new networking stack: the OS TCP/IP driver is now based on the open source (GNU GPL) project lwIP, a compact and performing implementation of TCP/IP designed for embedded use that gives the Windows-alike OS a big boost in both stability and performance in networking applications.

ReactOS is now able to connect to wireless networks too, even though support for encryption networks is still lacking (WEP but no WPA or WPA2). Another important and “manifest” feature of the new ReactOS version is the implementation of Windows themes support, so that users can install something prettier than the standard, barebone XP/2003 aspect.

For users willing to try how well the free OS is coming along, ReactOS is now available in many different setup types: installation CD, live CD, and preloaded virtual machine image (QEMU, VMware or Virtual Box). The OS source code is hosted on SourceForge.net.

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