The Monthly Fee
Usually, when you buy software, you walk into a store, put down $50, and take it home. TransGaming is taking a different approach. If you want WineX, you pay a monthly fee (3 month minimum). For $5/month, you can download WineX as often as you like. This is actually very important since WineX is still under heavy development, and while your favorite game may not be supported yet, if it is a popular game, odds are that it soon will be. With a subscription, you also gain access to support forums and the right to vote in the polls. Gavriel State, CEO of TransGaming, has been known to answer questions in the support forums, so at least for now you are getting tech support with a capitol "T".
Ask And You Shall Receive
That's right, as a subscriber, you run the company! Well, not really, but you can influence the future direction of WineX development by voting in the polls. In fact, the decision to add DirectX 8 support was a result of the very first poll which closed in December. The current polls include everything from adding general features to getting better support for specific games. (Officially supported games get the level "5" rating.) Future directions for WineX include more work on DirectX 8, official support for Civ3, and a kernel module for better performance. As a subscriber, you can also propose your own questions for future polls.
WINE Gets The Big Fork
We say that code gets "forked" when there are two versions of it from independent development teams that never get put back together. This happened to the UNIX operating system years ago, and now it is about to happen to the Wine project.
The community of Wine developers recently voted to switch to the GNU LGPL license (similar to the one used by the Linux kernel). This a problem for TransGaming because WineX uses proprietary interfaces needed by most Windows games for copy-protection. In order to comply with the LGPL, TransGaming would need to release all the source code in WineX. According to their reading of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), this is against the law in the United States. Instead, they have decided to keep working from the current code base and not use any Wine code released under the new license. The "ReWind" project will be the development site for the forked version of the code. Unfortunately, this means that TransGaming will not be able to take advantage of future enhancements to Wine made by other developers, and the Wine project will not get any of the work done by TransGaming. Realistically, they had very little choice, since the majority of Windows games use copy-protection. The Wine project will continue as usual at winehq .