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Windows Software Coming to Android Thanks to Wine

By - Source: Phoronix | B 20 comments

CodeWeavers is working on an Android version of the open-source Wine software.

Phoronix reports that an Android version of the open-source Wine software – which is used to run Windows-based apps on POSIX-compliant operating systems like Linux, Mac OSX and BSD – is currently in development.

The Android version was briefly demonstrated by Wine's original developer Alexandre Julliard after the FOSDEM 2013 talk in Brussels on Monday. Phoronix reports that CodeWeavers still employs Julliard to work on the software due to their Wine-based CrossOver commercial software for Linux and Mac OS X.

Phoronix said the performance of Wine for Android during the demo was "horrendously slow" because Julliard didn't use an actual Android device, but rather an emulated Android environment running on an Apple MacBook. It's also an active work-in-progress, so performance is expected to be somewhat slow for now.

"While Wine is coming to ARM and there's quite a lot of interest there, CodeWeavers is quite interested and hopeful for the success of Intel x86 Atom CPUs for tablets," Phoronix said. "If Android gains traction on x86-based tablets and other mobile devices, CodeWeavers has a lot of commercial opportunities for pushing the running of Windows software on Android."

According to the Wine website, the software doesn't simulate internal Windows logic like a virtual machine or emulator. Instead, Wine translates Windows API calls into POSIX calls on-the-fly. This supposedly eliminates the performance and memory penalties associated with VMs and emulators, allowing the user to "cleanly" integrate Windows applications into a non-Windows desktop.

Wine originally began in 1993 as a way to run Windows 3.1 programs on Linux. It took 15 years before Wine finally reached v1.0, the first stable release, in 2008.

 

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  • 16 Hide
    mariusmotea , February 6, 2013 3:52 PM
    Is funny to run x86 programs on Android tablets and Windows RT to run apps only.
  • 13 Hide
    quilciri , February 6, 2013 3:59 PM
    Heh beat me to it.

    Adroid phones running windows desktop software before windows phones...
  • 11 Hide
    Anonymous , February 6, 2013 3:59 PM
    OMG best news ive heard in ages!!
Other Comments
  • 16 Hide
    mariusmotea , February 6, 2013 3:52 PM
    Is funny to run x86 programs on Android tablets and Windows RT to run apps only.
  • 11 Hide
    Anonymous , February 6, 2013 3:59 PM
    OMG best news ive heard in ages!!
  • 13 Hide
    quilciri , February 6, 2013 3:59 PM
    Heh beat me to it.

    Adroid phones running windows desktop software before windows phones...
  • 9 Hide
    mobrocket , February 6, 2013 4:14 PM
    MSFT maybe u should have wine on your windows tablet and phones
  • 5 Hide
    twelve25 , February 6, 2013 4:28 PM
    Do tablets and phones have the processing power to run emulated x86? It's going to be a lot of overhead. Maybe your Win98 apps designed for Pentium II 366 will run OK.

  • 2 Hide
    jhansonxi , February 6, 2013 4:40 PM
    Phoronix also reported a rumor that M$ Office may be ported to Linux:
    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTI5MzU
  • 4 Hide
    _TuxUser_ , February 6, 2013 5:09 PM
    WINE do not emulate CPU, so running WINE on ARM will only manage to run ARM binaries made for ms-windows (this means some applications made for old ms-Windows Mobile), so the only way making WINE for Android to run programs made for ms-Windows x86 would be that the Android was running on a x86 based CPU.

    WINE for ARM ain't new, there has been a version for Nokia N900 for quite many years.
  • 0 Hide
    dalethepcman , February 6, 2013 5:17 PM
    Wine for android on new intel phones sounds like a win win. I wonder if I can get a PST to work....
  • 0 Hide
    Soda-88 , February 6, 2013 6:30 PM
    Great, more incentive for being a lazy software developer...
  • 2 Hide
    btdude6 , February 6, 2013 6:40 PM
    mariusmoteaIs funny to run x86 programs on Android tablets and Windows RT to run apps only.

    quilciriHeh beat me to it.Adroid phones running windows desktop software before windows phones...

    Indeed, this is so ironic, good and bad at the same time. If this ever works well, that`ll teach M$ to stop restricting everything in their software.
  • 0 Hide
    blazorthon , February 6, 2013 6:52 PM
    _TuxUser_WINE do not emulate CPU, so running WINE on ARM will only manage to run ARM binaries made for ms-windows (this means some applications made for old ms-Windows Mobile), so the only way making WINE for Android to run programs made for ms-Windows x86 would be that the Android was running on a x86 based CPU.WINE for ARM ain't new, there has been a version for Nokia N900 for quite many years.


    Well, emulation could solve that just fine, granted the overhead issue is then potentially brought back and that might be an issue considering the already limited performance on Android devices. Also, there are a few Android phoens using x86 CPUs, so maybe it'll get somewhere anyway.

    When you think about it, modern x86 CPUs are mostly RISC CPUs running CISC instructions that are translated into RISC micro-ops, so maybe the WINE for Android could do some more translation than just the Windows to Posix and it could be fine.
  • 3 Hide
    svdb , February 6, 2013 6:53 PM
    I applaud the technical prowess, but given how the vast majority of native windows applications are designed for large desktops, keyboard shortcuts and mice, it seems to me this might just remain a lab experiment with little practical value to end users.
  • 1 Hide
    quilciri , February 6, 2013 7:18 PM
    umm, thanks tuxuser?

    "If Android gains traction on x86-based tablets and other mobile devices, CodeWeavers has a lot of commercial opportunities for pushing the running of Windows software on Android."

  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 6, 2013 8:44 PM
    [MSFT maybe u should have wine on your windows tablet and phones]

    There are so many virtual machines that can run on Windows tablet and phones already, why need wine? Virtualbox? VM Player?
  • 0 Hide
    blazorthon , February 6, 2013 8:54 PM
    olddosboy[MSFT maybe u should have wine on your windows tablet and phones]There are so many virtual machines that can run on Windows tablet and phones already, why need wine? Virtualbox? VM Player?


    WINE doesn't have such big impacts on performance and isn't a virtual machine. Those are two big advantages over virtual machines.
  • 0 Hide
    susyque747 , February 6, 2013 11:50 PM
    Why? Android has enough apps, no need for MS garbage to be emulated on the platform.
  • 0 Hide
    ipwn3r456 , February 7, 2013 1:00 AM
    I want someone to play Crysis on it hehe.
  • 0 Hide
    tokencode , February 7, 2013 9:45 AM
    If you have to explain why you are not doomed, that is not a good sign.
  • 0 Hide
    rajanee , March 20, 2013 11:54 AM
    hi
  • 0 Hide
    rajanee , March 20, 2013 11:55 AM
    Here is an excellent tool to batch files rename easily “KrojamSoft BatchRenameFiles tool"
    http://BatchRenameFiles.org