With the Microsoft recently taking Windows 7 off life support, it got me thinking that PC games released between 2007 and 2011 are beginning to fall into the “retro” category. I’ll need to put together a dedicated Windows 7 machine in the couple years so I can keep playing games form that era without compatibility problems. It also got me thinking about a project I first encountered nearly a decade ago, called ReactOS.
ReactOS is free and open source operating system that is essentially a Windows clone. It aims to replicate all the functionality of NT-based versions of Windows. Theoretically, ReactOS should be able to run most Windows software natively, and would be perfect for a retro gaming computer. Seeing as I already have a dedicated Windows XP gaming box, I decided to try installing ReactOS on it to see how it compared. I had planned to replace Windows XP with ReactOS if the test went well enough, and maybe even use it place of Windows 7 in the near future. Unfortunately, ReactOS is still in alpha, and it shows. The full results of my little experiment are documented in the video below.