Thorium Core is an attempt to build a commercial operating system and cloud services platform, based on ReactOS, which is an Open Source implementation of the NT architecture seen in modern versions of Windows.
What is it about? Thorium Core is about taking the ReactOS operating system from the proof-of-concept and engineering stages to building a fast and lightweight solution that can be tailored to suit the computing needs of both private and commercial users.
Thorium Core will allow you to configure an optimized, virtualized or embedded system tailored to run Windows-compatible applications using fewer resources than a modern version of Windows would require, without the licensing costs and complexity associated with Microsoft products and giving the user the Freedom that comes with Open Source software.
The modular design used for building Thorium Core allows all unnecessary legacy parts of the system to be removed leaving you with exactly what you need, whether it is an embedded industrial control system, a virtualized container for securely isolating a Windows application, or a gaming system that is optimized to give you an edge over your competitors.
Why are we building it?
Besides a philosophical desire to have an Open Source Windows replacement, we believe that it’s possible that Thorium Core, due to its design, will perform better and will evolve to be used in places and on platforms which are not supported by Windows.
Simply put, if you are a Windows developer, or are in need to better secure and isolate an existing Windows application stack, other alternatives just do not exist.
Why do we need money? Funding Thorium Core will allow us to turn ReactOS into a commercial product beyond its current academic and engineering roots to the larger market as an alternative minimal, fast, lightweight operating system.
Instead of just being fancy and cool for what it is, Thorium Core will serve as a basis for bringing ReactOS to that larger market.
Information about ReactOS
For more information about the Open Source Project ReactOS which Thorium Core is based on, please visit:
Risks and challenges
Creating an operating system is a challenging task, especially one that is as large and complex as a modern Windows-like system. We have spent more than ten years developing ReactOS, taking it from being a simple proof of concept of an Open Source Windows NT-like kernel, to a complete operating system that is capable of running a large number of existing Windows applications.
Most of the hardest work is already done, now skilled manpower is required to optimize ReactOS into a commercial product, to ensure it’s components such as kernel and driver subsystems are state-of-the-art to create the fast and lightweight Thorium Core Platform.
Finding the right people is a challenge, and finding skilled developers is a much bigger challenge. Success in building such an unusual and intriguing piece of software as operating system requires. During all years working in ReactOS, a very good team built up. Aleksey Bragin plans to contract a few of the best coders in Moscow to work under his supervision on the operating system modules. Besides of that, Aleksey is giving Operating System course in the Moscow State Technical University in Russian Federation to C.Sc. students this spring, and it’s a good way to attract bright minds for the summer internship in this project.
This is an issue which is being most frequently called when speaking about ReactOS. We care about legality, and we try to keep as far from something illegal as possible.
We highly respect Microsoft for their contribution to the development of operating systems, and we respect other orgs contributions too, so our best intention is to stay legal. To achieve this, in addition to all practices we use in ReactOS, we pan to:
- Establish and keep track of authors, license and copyright information of every file involved in ReactOS project;
- Contract a well known third party for deep source code analysis (Black Duck Software, for example);
- Make Thorium Core as different as possible while keeping compatibility on an acceptable level. As an example, there is little reason in reimplementing algorithms found in the Windows kernel absolutely same way, and often it’s just impossible. However, since it’s known how the kernel works, it’s possible to write test cases and implement a much simpler algorithm, or more efficient algorithm, or even just use already existing open source code.
Think of it like this: You've got your phone and you sit down at your desk, your phone is pretty underpowered compared to the cloud, so you throw your phone down and it displays to a monitor and bluetooth keyboard/mouse to a VDI farm running your workstation. You can save your files directly to filesystems in the cloud like Google or Box.net account. You get up to leave and you grab your phone and go.
Later when you are on the road, you take your tablet and can access your data via your various Android or Chrome apps or if you want to go in to workstation mode again, you can pair your KBD and Mouse to your tablet, turning it in to a monitor and start using it as a workstation. Since all your your processing is remote, your session state should be saved with a lot less power consumption.
So think of it as an application platform to bridge the gab between mobile applications and enterprise application platform middleware instead of trying to shove a workstation on a phone like others are trying to do. Instead of being tied to a single phone or Operating System vendor, the Phone or Tablet should be OS agnostic.
One month of Thorium Core Cloud Services, allowing you to access your Windows compatible applications and Cloud Provider data from you phone, tablet, workstation or any other connected device + Physical Media for installation of the Thorium Core distribution
Six months of Thorium Core Cloud Services, allowing you to access your Windows compatible applications and Cloud Provider data from you phone, tablet, workstation or any other connected device + Physical Media for installation of the Thorium Core distribution
One year of Thorium Core Cloud Services, allowing you to access your Windows compatible applications and Cloud Provider data from you phone, tablet, workstation or any other connected device + Physical Media for installation of the Thorium Core distribution
At this tier, in addition to the above you will receive an embedded x86 computer with ReactOS pre-installed. The current board selected is the VIA EPIA N800-10E with 1GB of RAM. ReactOS will be tested and tuned to ensure it will work with the drivers for the hardware on this board to ensure working sound, networking, USB, and 2D graphics acceleration. In addition, the small size of this board makes it perfect for prototyping embedded applications using ReactOS. Included is a CompactFlash card with ReactOS installed and a power adapter.
All of the above + attribution of Premiere Pledges contribution to Thorium Core, by including you or your company name on the installation screen, in the customer documentation and in individual applications included, as well as amusing places such as easter eggs.