Wine for Android will allow you to run Windows apps, someday

February 3, 2013
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Sure, you can run Android apps on your Windows PC, in multiple ways. Some laptops are even going to ship with Android apps preinstalled. But what about the other way around? Not yet, but (hopefully) soon.

If you’re not familiar with Wine, it’s a piece of software that allows Windows applications to run on other operating systems like Linux and Mac OSX. The name is a recursive acronym which stands for “Wine Is Not an Emulator.” Helpful, huh?

Wine for Android hasn’t been given any official release date, and there hasn’t even been any word of when we might see a functioning beta, but it is nice to know that work has started on the project. Earlier today at the Free and Open source Software Developers European Meeting (FOSDEM), Alexandre Julliard, the original developer behind Wine, showed off a demonstration of Wine running on Android. According to Phoronix, “performance was horrendously slow,” though they state that this was mostly do to the demonstration taking place on an emulator, not an actual device.

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As you might expect from a demonstration of such an early version of the software, there were indeed hiccups, though the fact that it ran at all is enough to bring hope to some users. While this is made possible in part by the current work on porting Wine to ARM devices, CodeWeavers, which contributes to Wine development but also sells the CrossOver Office software, is looking forward to Android on Intel x86 processors taking off, as it might open up plenty of commercial opportunities.

We’re sure that it will be some time before any workable version of Wine for Android is available, but we’ll keep you updated. In the meantime, if you just want to run a few games, it might be worth taking a look at Winulator.

What do you think of this project? Can you think of any Windows applications that would like to run on an Android device?

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