> > menuetOS Syllable Visopsys ReactOS Linux Windows7
> 
> Can you mention some pros and cons, in particular of the lesser
> known first 3 items on the list? I can say about the last three
> that: ReactOS tries to clone WinNT/XP, Linux has a lot of free
> open software and Windows7 tries to be cool where Vista was not.
> I think all OSes in this list have a more or less fancy GUI :-)
> Not sure about hardware (RAM, disk, CPU?) requirements, though.

Okay, menuetOS was mentioned by someone else and I've heard of it, but I
don't know much about it.  

Syllable, check out http://www.syllable.org, is being designed for
ordinary people instead of geeks and it is completely free.  A new
release has come out recently.  Apparently, a Pentium is good enough to
run Syllable.  I think Syllable in the long run might make more sense
than ReactOS as Syllable shouldn't inherit any Windows NT problems.

Syllable supports OpenGL applications, so there is some software support
already.  Syllable comes with it's own web browser, Webster, that is
being actively developed.  The major advantage of Syllable is the
design, it is intended to NOT overwhelm ordinary people.  The major con
of Syllable is that there are few developers and it clearly isn't
finished yet.  I couldn't get 0.6.4 to install directly on my Pentium 4.

Visopsys, see http://www.visopsys.org, is the open source project of one
man.  I think the major strength of Visopsys is disk management.
Visopsys aims to be compatible with other operating systems without
being a clone of any of them.  Major con, development has only been
going on since 1997 and since there is one developer, one could argue
that development is slow.  I couldn't get 0.7 to install on my Pentium 4
last time I tried.  Maybe there is no parallel ata support?

ReactOS is in alpha stage and neither feature complete nor stable.  The
goal of ReactOS is that you replace Windows 7 with it and this is barely
noticed.  ReactOS aims to have the same interface as Windows and run the
same software.  Major con is the developer community, it is small and
there are a number of very strong egos there.  If you get chewed out on
ReactOS IRC or flamed on the discussion boards, don't expect any
corrective action in your favor.  The IRC chat room really isn't
moderated fairly, so don't be surprised if you are attacked personally
and end up being the person kicked out.  The current ReactOS developers
have some major personal issues that are hurting the project public
relations wise.  I wish the current crop of developers would quit and
get replaced by other, more emotionally stable people.  Criticism is not
handled well in the ReactOS community, so don't go there.  There are a
few programs that already work in ReactOS when you can get it running,
but nothing current.  I used to be nute on the forum boards, look for
nute and zimbra and you'll know what I'm talking about as far as the
community being problematic.

Linux, various flavors, is the premier free operating system.  Add 
wine to Linux and gain access to a fair number of Windows applications.
Linux has been slowly gaining on the Desktop.  There are many user
groups to help you use Linux effectively.  The application list is
growing.  Linux, unlike Syllable, Visopsys, MenuetOS, and ReactOS is
stable and mature.  Linux, unfortunately, is not light weight requiring
almost as much processing power as Windows 7 depending on what you are
doing with it.  Linux is what you install if you have a Pentium 4 or
better, Pentium 3 is possible for a server.  There is a bit of a mess
right now with gnome 3.0.  The Linux 3.0 kernel is coming out, so there
will probably be a minor amount of difficulty while vendors catch up.
Of all the open source projects, Linux is probably the most successful.
Linux is actually just a kernel, GNU/Linux is an operating system of
which there are various flavors.  There are probably over 300 different
Linux distributions today.  Which is the major problem, Linux standards
base attempts to address the so many versions problem, but it is a
voluntary effort.  Linux is seen by many as a synonym for "it works."


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