Windows apps coming to Android with Wine port

Wine logoThe Wine emulator, which is used to run Windows programs on Unix-like systems such as Linux and OS X, is being ported to Android.

Wine project leader Alexandre Julliard delivered a keynote yesterday at the FOSDEM open source conference in Brussels, where he did a "brief showing of Wine on Android," reports the tech news site Phoronix. Performance in the demo was reported to be "horrendously slow," but that was at least partly because Julliard was using an emulated version of Android on a laptop rather than an Android phone or tablet.

Wine, by the way, stands for "Wine Is Not an Emulator," although the Wine wiki notes that it is more accurate to say "Wine is not just an emulator" because it does more than simple emulation.

Julliard has led development of Wine since 1994 and is an employee of CodeWeavers, which sells a proprietary Windows emulator based on the open source software. It's hard to imagine running a Windows application on an Android smartphone, but it might make sense for tablets—or Android-based PCs and thin clients. (There are already ways to run Android apps on Windows.)

Wine on Android is not entirely surprising, since Android is Linux-based, and there was already a project to bring Wine to ARM processors.

"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 founder Michael Larabel wrote. "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."

There's no word yet on when the Wine port for Android will be ready for prime time. However, it's not the only project bringing Windows applications to Android. If you're itching to play some '90s-era Windows games on your Android device, check out Winulator on the Google Play store.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Android, OSes

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