The ReactOS Project recently received a proposal to adopt "Open your Windows to Freedom" as the official project motto, with the proposed motto itself having been selected in a self-organized vote by the community. After internal discussions between the team developers and other administrative members, the Project has chosen to reject the proposal. The following outlines the reasons.
The overaching issue the team has with the proposal is the impression that "Open your Windows to Freedom" may convey. The phrasing implies that ReactOS is antagonistic to Microsoft due to the implied desirability of 'freedom' from a Microsoft product. Though ReactOS is a defacto competitor with Windows due to the featureset ReactOS offers, that status is a side effect and not a principal goal. As has been emphasized many times in the past, ReactOS is an open source implementation of the NT architecture with a Win32 subsystem. The members of the project believe that the value of such a system comes from its inherent utility and room for experimentation. The project can and will take advantage of misteps by Microsoft in order to promote ReactOS, but actively trying to undermine Microsoft is not the goal of this project.
In addition, there is general dissatisfaction with any mention of Windows at all in the proposal. A motto, should the project determine one is desirable, is effectively a statement about the project's focus and intent. The things referred to in the motto would indicate those are the traits or concepts that the project wants to emphasize about itself. To have the word windows, regardless of whether it is capitalized or not, implies that the project considers its worth to be defined by some ephemeral relationship to Windows, as if ReactOS' worth by itself is not sufficient and must be bolstered by drawing a comparison, no matter how indirect. The project has no desire to for the long term be defined by its relation to Windows. Right now that is the easy comparison to make, but to be viewed as constantly chasing after Windows suggests that the target is never surpassed. The project is not so lacking in ambition as to settle for that.
The above two points were the predominant reasons for the project to reject the proposal. These are not decisions the project enjoys making, but ultimately a decision must be made and an explanation provided.