By Delia / Last update December 23, 2021

ReactOS 0.4.14 has been released

Have you ever heard of the open source Windows system?

In fact, since 1996, the ReactOS project was launched with the aim of rebuilding the Windows NT kernel as well as the system layer in an open source, free way, and recently, ReactOS 0.4.14 has been released for download.

ReactOS 0.4.14

The range of improvements in the release includes FreeLoader fixes, Shell functionality, kernel fixes, NetKVM VirtIO bringup, further work on the Xbox port, and support for the NEC PC-9800. The announcement notes that the development team has spent over a year refining this release and fixing regressions.

For Windows veterans, the features added to the new system may be nothing new, but from an open source free perspective, it's already a big improvement. For example, the right-click "Send To" feature, which has been online since the Windows 2000 era, as well as "Open as" and "Open Command Prompt", a number of DLL files have been updated based on the Wine project, and support for the NEC PC-9800 has been added for startup.

Improvements of ReactOS 0.4.14

Some of the highlights of this update are as follows:

  • A number of improvements to the Shell component, which forms an important part of the ReactOS user experience. Various user-interface/shell improvements, including "Send To" support in the context menus, "Open Command Prompt" support, and other additional features.

shell improvement

  • Worked on being able to boot ReactOS on the NEC PC-9800 (PC-98) computer, a series of 16-bit and 32-bit Japanese computers developed and manufactured by NEC. Since this type of hardware is based on an x86 processor, it is a relatively easy target for porting.

boot support

  • Better support for the Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP). many improvements have been made to the implementation of the ICMP protocol, from the implementation of the IOCTL_ICMP_ECHO_REQUEST I/O control code to a complete rewrite of the Icmp** routines.

icmp improvement

  • The ReactOS kernel features better stability and various other improvements. Initial work has been done in the kernel on improved memory management, physical address extension (PAE) handling, CRT exception handling, better plug-and-play, and driver work.
  • Support for the NetKVM VirtIO interface for virtual machine networking.
  • Removed obsolete fonts from the system to reduce the binary size of the new ReactOS version and also reduce RAM consumption.
  • Updates for various open source components.
  • In addition, the Internet Message Control Protocol was introduced, the framework for writing programs in C was optimized, and the on-screen keyboard and fonts were updated.

Overall, the new system runs more stably and takes up only 100MB of memory when idle.

In terms of hardware and software compatibility, the ReactOS team frequently updates progress in the official account, and not long ago managed to run on Z690A motherboard and 12th generation Core i7 platform, also able to run Diablo 2, Office 97, VLC Media Player and other programs.