Home Business IT Open Source Android and Linux users enjoy Wine
Android and Linux users enjoy Wine Featured

Wine is a compatibility layer capable of running Windows “Apps” on Linux, Mac OSX, BSD and soon Android on ARM devices.

I reported that you can now run an Android operating system on Windows x86 devices so I guess it is fair that Android users can run Windows programs (not the Operating system) on their devices.

Wine’s latest version is 1.5.23 (1 Feb 2013). Instead of emulating Windows API’s it translates them into POSIX calls. It is free open source program – its development started in 1993 ostensibly because any future Windows replacement (as Linux et all would like to be) must run legacy Windows applications.

What Windows Apps will run and how close to native Windows performance however is a grey area. By all accounts 32 and 64 bit programs are generally OK. Things like World of Warcraft 4.3.x and many games run well with minor issues like Alt-Tab not working (to change screens from the desktop) and MS Office runs well. I guess it is all about trying – if it works great. Potential issues seem to arise in registering copy protected software and it does not have any DOS box support.

Wine is also a potential solution to running older 16bit Windows programs on 64bit hardware.

Codeweavers who support Wine also offer commercial programs like CrossOver Mac that allows Mac users to run Windows programs directly within the file browser or from email attachments with no rebooting, no switching to a virtual machine and no Windows OS licence required.

Wines next move is into the Android space where on 3 February Crosswweavers demonstrated an early prototype.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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