Reasons for ReactOS
This is a work in progress. I'm not finished. The aim is to take the related forum topic and turn this into an article. All the numbers will be removed and this will not directly correlate to the topic.
Security & Privacy
1. Safe browsing in a virtual ReactOS sandbox (Firefox) 29. No possibility of unwanted or undocumented telemetry data-mining your system, ReactOS will not expose your data thus also saving bandwidth. 32. NSA backdoors less likely due to peer review of the open source codebase allowing monitoring and quick fixing. The code is reviewed by MANY eyes and security flaws are caught and fixed, rather than ignored and buried. 38. No unwanted advertising on various o/s components (login screen, live tiles, etc.)
2. A platform for development using legacy environments (VB6) 3. A platform for widget desktop development and packaging (Yahoo Widget Engine) 4. A platform for graphical design (Photoshop CS ver 8.0 - the oldest and still the best) 12. All/most older/current 32bit Windows apps should just function. 13. All/most older/current 32bit Windows drivers should just function. 14. Access to all legacy apps that stopped working under NT6+ 33. Will be able to support many different types of Windows file systems. Will run FAT32 and NTFS in kernel mode as well as non-native types such as BTRF and ReiserFS, will support CDFS, VFD, UDF as well as network file systems. 36. Has the potential for compilation to other hardware platforms and not just x86/AMD64 but potentially ARM, PowerPC &c leading to a multi-platform NT-compatible o/s! 37. Extends the capabilities of XP/2003 to encompass newer technologies that were not present in the original versions of these o/s. 42. NT6 application compatibility allowing you to run Vista/Win7 (NT6) desktop programs on an NT5 based system. 44. To escape from the situation where a Windows update can brick or make your hardware unstable due to the bundling of incompatible microcode/firmware.
5. A platform that I can theme fully without patching. 6. A platform that I can change the underlying o/s fonts, colours without the GUI denying me this capability. 7. A platform I can bundle and distribute with my own customisations - a ReactOS distro. 39. Allows creation of specific distros, stripped down or focussed for gaming purposes, theming, server operation, POS systems, etc.
Testing and Development
8. A platform that I can use multiple instances of for testing.
9. A platform that I can build into any x86/AMD64 computer by default.
10. No licensing restrictions 22. There are no restrictions with regard to functionality added or removed from the different home/professional versions, there are no crippled versions! 23. It is free of DRM restrictions. 26. It is free, completely! No licence costs for multiple servers. Multiple instances cost nothing. 34. Does not complain and stop booting when I change the hardware beyond what it thinks should be in my PC. 35. No need ever to call Microsoft to re-enable software I have already purchased. ReactOS will never call home to check whether your licence is valid. 45. To avoid the situation where due to a BIOS reflash your Windows licence key is blocked and cannot be changed, even by Microsoft.
11. Full DOS gaming under NTVDM.
15. ReactOS is open source, so we have full access to the source code if required for bug-fixing or even just for analysis. 31. Ability to compile the source code and know how an NT compatible system actually works, or at the very least, get an idea of how it works.
16. Real support from a dedicated and growing ReactOS community, you can actually report bugs and obtain feedback! 17. Real support from the Windows community too for all apps/driver problems, at the very least for comparison purposes.
18. Documentation will exist for ReactOS and that documentation will apply also to Windows, it will complement existing Windows documentation and fill the holes for that functionality which is hidden by Microsoft and that does not already exist. More Windows documentation is always good!
19. Escape from Microsoft's eternal UI redesign - controls, options, everything are right back where I want them to be. 24. Gaining an old and familiar desktop environment.
20. Freedom from forced obsolescence by design, being forced by MS to abandon useful software. 21. Freedom to use the o/s of my choice without abandoning my prior knowledge and experience.
25. Gaining an o/s that is quicker to boot, much slimmer with regard to footprint, and much more efficient in operation. 28. No metro apps bundled by default that consume more resources than needed. 41. Fast installation times - sub 10 mins. 56. ReactOS being compatible with Windows 2003 will not implement a "file discovery" phase prior to copying/deletion/moving operations on folders containing thousands of files/sub-folders, avoiding the problem where an operation does not start due to the sheer volume of files being 'discovered'.
15. ReactOS is open source, so we have full access to the source code if required for bug-fixing or even just for analysis. 26. It is free, completely! No licence costs for multiple servers. Multiple instances cost nothing.
Oversight, Auditing, and Review
27. Bug fixing - ReactOS is open source. The code is reviewed by MANY eyes and bugs are caught and fixed, rather than ignored and buried.
30. The ability to port an NT-compatible OS to hypervisors with paravirtualization capabilities. 40. A solution for managing ESX hosts from the Linux desktop platform. Creating lightweight ReactOS Virtual Machines in VBox and installing vSphere Client. 43. Bundling ReactOS as a virtual platform with legacy Windows applications that no longer run under later versions of Windows to allow continued access to legacy programs and/or data (i.e. you compile your code and distribute your binary with a complete o/s for live running or test purposes). 46. To allow vastly improved configuration practices such as the separation of the user profile from the o/s system drive. 47. Freedom from forced hardware obsolescence by design, MS making useful hardware obsolete by dropping support for existing drivers - see 20. 48. Freedom from Microsoft-enforced driver updates overwriting user-selected drivers causing hardware instability or failure to operate. 49. Freedom from deliberately poor design choices such as the premature opening of the desktop well before the rest of the o/s is actually ready to operate. 50. No hidden and undocumented APIs that only Microsoft and its partners can take advantage of. 51. ReactOS won't make a previously licensed version of the o/s into an unlicensed one overnight as can happen on Windows without warning, without any changes being made to the machine... see 34. 52. ReactOS won't prevent you from installing your software the way you prefer, will never force you to use the ReactOS appstore under some Unified ReactOS Framework as Microsoft ultimately intends to do. 53: NT6 added restrictions to the "Program files" and "Program files (x86)" directories and removed the ability to edit and view (?) configuration files files within these folders causing incompatibilities with some programs designed for NT5. ReactOS being compatible with 2003 should provide access to these folders. 54. ReactOS being compatible with Windows 2003 will hopefully implement facilities that were present in 2003 and subsequently removed in NT6. Specifically within Explorer, a fully functioning "open with" menu option that remembers all possible associated and useful programs, the ability to display animated images on the active desktop and control and consistency over how audio and associated file types are displayed and ordered. 55. ReactOS being compatible with Windows 2003 will implement a non-indexed search facility that includes date ranges, sub-folders &c that also highlights what folder is currently being searched. 57. ReactOS being compatible with Windows 2003 will return the ability to adjust sound output to mono/stereo, allow adjustment of volume per speaker/channel and restore sound broadcast to multiple endpoints.