Windows apps coming to Android courtesy of Wine

Summary:Software that allows Windows apps to run on Android devices has been shown off at the Fosdem 2013 open-source conference.

Software that allows Windows apps to run on Android devices was demoed at the Fosdem 2013 open source conference this weekend.

A version of the Wine compatibility layer that allows Windows software to run on Unix-like operating systems — such as Linux, Mac OSX and BSD — was shown running on Android at the conference in Brussels.

The demo by Alexandre Julliard, one of the original developers of Wine, showed Wine running on an emulated Android environment.

Phoronix reports the performance of Wine on Android to be "horrendously slow" but says these problems were attributed to it running on an emulated environment rather than a native Android OS.

Wine is designed to allow Windows apps to be run on a Unix-like OS direct from the desktop or terminal. The makers claim it bypasses many performance and memory penalties of other methods for simulating computing environments, such as running virtual machines, by translating Windows API calls into POSIX calls on the fly.

The Android OS predominantly runs on ARM-based devices today, and a separate demo at the Fosdem conference showed Wine running on ARM-based hardware.

There was no news on when support for ARM-based devices or Android will be added to a publicly available Wine release.

Topics: Android, Apps, Linux, Windows

About

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic UK. He writes about the technology that IT-decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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