Windows Software Coming to Android Thanks to Wine

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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  • mariusmotea
    Is funny to run x86 programs on Android tablets and Windows RT to run apps only.
  • OMG best news ive heard in ages!!
  • quilciri
    Heh beat me to it.

    Adroid phones running windows desktop software before windows phones...
  • mobrocket
    MSFT maybe u should have wine on your windows tablet and phones
  • twelve25
    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.

  • jhansonxi
    Phoronix also reported a rumor that M$ Office may be ported to Linux:
  • _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.
  • dalethepcman
    Wine for android on new intel phones sounds like a win win. I wonder if I can get a PST to work....
  • Soda-88
    Great, more incentive for being a lazy software developer...
  • btdude6
    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.