In the recent craze over smartphones, tablets, and what I'll term webbooks (think ChromeOS machines), many companies seem to have forgotten the greatest achievement of modern desktop operating systems, namely the ability to multitask. Smartphone OSes originally either did not have this capability built in or did not expose it to the end user. This was understandable, as smartphones operate under different constraints with respect to power and screen space. Even tablets, with their higher power envelopes and bigger screens, are ultimately presented as consumption devices.
Many people see ReactOS as a Windows XP successor, a way for them to avoid the changes Microsoft brought about in Windows 8. This is a somewhat idealized goal, as ReactOS would need to be much more complete before it could attempt to fill in that role. There are however other use cases for which ReactOS is much closer to being ready for. Many of these however are more business use cases than consumer use cases.
Remote Desktop Thin Client
Deciding whether to write this latest entry was a tad difficult, if only because I'm starting to feel like I've been harping a bit too much on Microsoft, but some of the information that has trickled out about the new Xbox bears some putting into context. Specifically, the requirement that anyone wanting to publish a game to Xbox Live needs to sign on with a publisher, so no self-publishing by indies. There's some minor rumbling and irritation at this requirement, but I don't think anyone was really expecting Microsoft to even try to accommodate indies on this one.
The project often gets suggestions for what people consider to be "improvements" over how Windows does something. Nothing wrong with that, save for the fact people rarely consider the implications of what they are asking for. The most recent spurt was in "enhancements" for the shell, some of it due to the renewed attention I started drawing to it. We'll take the request for "full screen" application support to start with. On Windows, fullscreen support needs to be baked into the application, requiring an explicit decision by a developer to support it.
In my last post, I talked a bit about how Microsoft's fixation on Metro/Modern and the appstore had resulted in it basically ignoring large swathes of its developer community. So that post got a lot more attention than I was expecting, with some agreeing and others disagreeing. Some discussions however took a turn where people began debating how much trouble, if any, developers were in with Microsoft's move. This was something that I had decided not to explore further because the previous post had already reached a fairly ridiculous length.