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Wine Making It Possible to Run Windows Apps on Android Platform

Written By mediana saputra on Monday, 4 February 2013 | 07:30

The man behind Wine, the not-an-emulator which runs Windows applications on Linux, has been showing off an early version for those desperate to run MS Office on their Android device.

It was, according to Phoronix - who witnessed the demo - "horrendously slow", and running on a Mac which was itself running an Android emulator. Nevertheless, he added, the demonstration at the FOSDEM open source meeting in Brussels did show Windows applications running on an Android platform, which is technically impressive even if difficult to justify.

This is a step forward for Wine (originally an acronym for "Wine Is Not an Emulator") as it would extend its capability of running Windows applications on other operating systems. At the moment, it can load them on Linux, Mac OSX, & BSD. It achieves this by real-time translation of Windows API calls into POSIX calls.

Wine is funded largely by CodeWeavers, which makes money selling a supported version branded CrossOver, though Google has been known to send money Wine's way and other companies have been involved when getting their Windows applications ported to Linux.

The idea of Wine isn't to provide a Windows desktop, but to support the single killer application which is keeping someone from switching... of course, the problem is that everyone has a different reason not to switch. If Android proves popular on tablets then Windows apps could be similarly sticky, and CodeWeavers could make money selling CrossOver for Android.

But that's for the future. What we have now is a very flaky demo which proves it can be done. While CodeWeavers sponsors some staff, the majority of Wine is the usual open-source mix of hobbyists and fanatics (sign up here), so future development will depend on that community, as well as the commercial potential of running Windows apps on Android devices.
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