The project has been on the books for 11 years but never went anywhere because developers were not that interested.
One of the biggest problems was that reimplementing the Win32 subsystem proved too hard.
Now developer Aleksey Bragin has decided to rewrite ReactOS from scratch and take advantage of another more popular project, Vine. Writing on the ReactOS mailing list, he said that the demand for an open source Windows-compatible operating system is huge.
But ReactOS usability was pants and the OS never even entered the beta stage.
Some Windows binary drivers could be loaded and work in ReactOS, networking is
being improved and the kernel is being actively worked on too.
But all of that does not really matter for the end user. For a user it’s important that a web-browser loads websites, instant messenger client connects and works and Microsoft Office shows documents, and the email client gets new messages, Bragin said.
He said: “The Win32 subsystem is a huge monster which requires a lot more human resources than we have now. It’s very hard and time consuming to reach even Windows 2000 level of compatibility with current amount of participating developers, and high entry level.”
Bragin thinks that the way forward is Arwinss which is a new file system made out of Vine and ReactOS. He knocked it up in a few months and thinks if everyone worked on it then ReactOS could really get off the ground.