Site News

Visi On
Win Shells
Misc GUIs

GUI Timeline
GUI Sites
Location: GUIs > Windows > ReactOS 0.2.9

ReactOS 0.2.9
Screen Shots
Reacty the ReactOS assistant - is this guy funny or what?
Also see my newer ReactOS 0.3.10 screen shots.

Well, it's time for me to kick around ReactOS again. ReactOS 0.2.9 was recently released, it can now run some more applications although as the version number "0.2.9" suggests, it is nowhere near complete yet.

ReactOS, for those of you just tuning in, is an open source clone of Microsoft's Windows (NT based) operating systems that is still under development. It natively implements the Win32 APIs and even attempts to be compatible with Windows NT/2000/XP device drivers.

As you might imagine, this is a huge undertaking. And with how Microsoft likes to add things and change things around in Windows, there will always be challenging new stuff to add to ReactOS.

In the long term, I believe ReactOS, in conjunction with Wine, represents the future of Windows and the Win32 API that is used by the majority of desktop applications today.

ReactOS boot screen
ReactOS 0.2.9 booting up.

ReactOS Explorer
First, a little about the desktop GUI, the ReactOS Explorer.

The desktop is working better and seems more stable than when it first appeared in version 0.2.0. The over all user interface has not changed much, but since ReactOS is constantly being worked on this is all subject to change.

The built in file management currently appears to be a cross between the classic Microsoft Windows File Manager and the Windows Explorer.

An interesting feature shown in this screen shot is the ability to detach sub menus from the ReactOS "start" menu.

ReactOS Applications
ReactOS now comes with a few desktop accessories, including WineMine, a calculator, and it's own registry editor.

The taskbar now has a set of "virtual desktop" buttons that let you flip between four different desktops.

ReactOS Settings applets
Some newer stuff includes various new settings applets. The display properties are accessible by right clicking on the desktop just as it is under Windows. You can now use the properties page to change the video display resolution.

ReactOS also includes WineFile, a second file manager presumably included as a fallback.

ReactOS also now includes "IExplore", a web browser that uses the Mozilla ActiveX control as its rendering engine.  It appears to use this for some help files.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. If I were to design an OS I would use a *very* simplified hypertext engine for rendering help and it would be separate from any regular web browser. Local help files have no need to contain all of the crazy content found on the web, and there should always be some control by the OS over the style that is used to display help files. Of course, apps that need to load web pages locally or from the Internet would always launch the user's default web browser.

Unfortunately ReactOS must deal with all of the applications out there that have, for whatever reason, embedded IE and made use of various web features, some of which are specific to IE.

Windows Apps
And now we will see what third party applications can run under ReactOS.

Here are a few simple desktop accessories, the Windows NT 3.51 calculator, sound recorder, and FreeCell.