The ReactOS team announced recently the release of the second maintenance update for the ReactOS 0.4 series of the free and open-source operating system that based on the design principles of the Windows NT architecture.
ReactOS 0.4.2 is here three months after the release of the first maintenance version, ReactOS 0.4.1, and brings various updated components, among which we can mention Wine and UniATA, and tries to improve the overall user experience of the system by adding various enhancements to the file manager and graphical shell.
However, the most interesting feature of the ReactOS 0.4.2 release is the ability for users to mount and read (write support is not available at this time) data from various Unix and Linux filesystems, including but not limited to EXT2, EXT3, EXT4, ReiserFS, and UFS. More such filesystems will be supported in the next updates.
“Native built-in support for these filesystems should make for considerably easier interoperability than the current out-of-box experience provided by Windows, and there is more to come in the future,” reads the announcement. “The project is reaching a point where rapid releases are viable, where disruption from introduction of major components or restructuring has been greatly reduced from the tumultuous early years and even as recently as the late 0.3.x series.”
That being said, ReactOS 0.4.2 is now available for download if you want to take it for a test drive on your personal computer, and, as you can see, the development cycle has been accelerated, so we should expect to see more such releases in the coming months, which will bring additional improvements and updated components for a much user-friendly Windows-like computing experience.