Imagine not having the hassle of Windows, but still being able to run (most) Windows programs? That's the goal with ReactOS, which builds on the old Windows NT architecture as an open source operating system. And it only takes a 150MB to install it, so it's small. You can grab it as a full installer, or make a LiveCD version that boots off a disc to give it a try.
^ Barton P. Miller; David Koski; Cjin Pheow Lee; Vivekananda Maganty; Ravi Murthy; Ajitkumar Natarajan; Jeff Steidl (October 1995). "Fuzz Revisited: A Re-examination of the Reliability of UNIX Utilities and Services" (PDF). Madison, WI 53706-1685 USA: University of Wisconsin: Computer Sciences Department. Archived from the original (pdf) on 21 June 2010. Retrieved 1 May 2013. ...The reliability of the basic utilities from GNU and Linux were noticeably better than those of the commercial systems [sic]
Although the term free software had already been used loosely in the past,[11] Richard Stallman is credited with tying it to the sense under discussion and starting the free-software movement in 1983, when he launched the GNU Project: a collaborative effort to create a freedom-respecting operating system, and to revive the spirit of cooperation once prevalent among hackers during the early days of computing.[12][13]
On February 3rd 1998, in the wake of Netscapes announcement to release their browser as Free Software, a group of people met in Palo Alto in the Silicon Valley and proposed to start a marketing campaign for Free Software using the term ``Open Source.'' The goal was to seek fast commercialisation of Free Software and acceptance of Free Software by the companies and venture capitalists of the booming new economy. As a means to this end, they made a conscious decision to leave aside all long-term issues (such as philosophy, ethics and social effects) related to Free Software, feeling these posed obstacles in the way of rapid acceptance by economy. They proposed to focus on technical advantages only1.
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