Russian President Asked to Fund Windows Open Source Clone
The free and open-source Windows clone - ReactOS - which has been in development for over ten years got attention of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
This summer, the ReactOS project participated in the Seliger 2011 Forum, a Russian government funded, annual youth educational forum held since 2005 at Lake Seliger in Russia (370km away from Moscow). ReactOS participated in the "Zvorykin project" section. The "Zvorykin project" is a multiyear program by the Russian Federal Agency for Youth aimed at stimulating innovative activities by younger members of society.
At the forum, ReactOS won "The Best Presentation" award and a grant of 100000 rubles (approximately 2400 JDs). In addition, around twenty large investors became interested in the project.
However, the story does not end there. On the 1st of September, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had scheduled a visit to school N 19 in Verchnerusskoe village, the exact school where Marat Karatov, a 17 year-old ReactOS member, is attending.
The school's director knew about Marat's participation in a major software project and offered to support Marat's desire to present this project to the president.
During his visit to the school, President Medvedev spoke with the school's students, including Marat Karatov. Marat made a short presentation of the latest build of ReactOS, including system boot up and running a few Windows-compatible applications. During conversation with the president, Marat said that the OS was ready approximately for 80% of real world usage and that roughly one million euros would be needed to complete its development within a year.
"This is an interesting project indeed" was President Medvedev's response.
After that, he added that it was necessary to assess the real status of this innovative development before making a decision about investment.
"I will see. We will think. Million or not, but we will think" President Medvedev said.
BBC reported that once the operating system is installed on a PC, the end user should not notice any difference from Windows according to ReactOS developer Aleksandr Rechitsky.
"Microsoft has an absolute monopoly and no real rivals, and there's nothing good about it," he said.
"There's absolutely nothing to replace Windows with, and if you decide to switch to a different operating system, you then have to change all the programs as well. But in this case you can change the system but leave all the programs intact."