Soon, run Windows apps on your mobile with Wine for Android

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Wine, a popular software that lets users run Windows apps on Linux and other Unix-like operating systems, will release a version for Android that will let users accomplish the same.

Alexandre Julliard, the original developer of Wine for Linux, confirmed that Wine for Google's Android platform was being worked upon and briefly demoed a very early version of the same. According to reports, the performance was "horrendously slow", but that was expected given that the Android environment itself was emulated on a Mac, instead of using a live Android device.

A progress report was also provided on Wine for ARM devices, a project that will help ARM devices run applications designed to run on x86 platforms. Given the rise of ARM devices, there is a lot of interest in the project, and the work is said to be in significantly more advanced stage than Wine for Android.

Wine originally released way back in 1993 and is one of the most popular programs on the platform. According to Wikipedia, in a 2007 survey by desktoplinux.com of 38,500 Linux desktop users, 31.5% of respondents reported using Wine to run Windows applications. This number was larger than all other x86 virtualization programs combined, as well as larger than the 27.9% who reported not running Windows applications.

Wine, though an open source project, has benefited from sponsorship from CodeWeavers, the company that has hired Julliard and other wine developers to work on CrossOver, CodeWeavers' supported version of Wine. CrossOver offers some additional features not found in Wine.

Wine has also benefited from sponsorship from Google, which has paid CodeWeavers in the past to have some bugs fixed so Picasa runs fine on Linux. Wine has also been multiple-time beneficiary of Google's Summer of Code program, that rewards students with stipends to work on open-source projects.

Image courtesy Phoronix

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