Windows apps coming to Android courtesy of Wine

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.

TOPICS: Android, Apps, Linux, Windows

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


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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  • Oh, The Irony...

    ...of Android being able to run Windows apps that Microsoft's own OSes with "Windows" in their names cannot run...

    Which platform is suffering from "fragmentation", again?
    • You are referring

      To old 16 bits applications ? Because considering the poss hardware that is ARM no-one with half a brain would believe intensive x86 applications could be run with acceptable performance !
  • best prank of the week

    That'll annoy quite a lot of users since only a tiny fraction of all Windows apps will run while the majority will create headache and utter frustration only. As it does on Linux already.
  • Potential Game changer

    This has the possibility of changing many things. We will have to wait and see about the public release, but like steam on Linux this could really shake up Microsoft's dominance.
    • don't hold your breath

      Wine has been around for a long long time and it is not as smooth as it is touted as being. End result will be no real change
      Burger Meister
  • This isn't going to work well on ARM tablets...

    ...but would on x86 ones. Perhaps things are looking up for Intel.
    John L. Ries
  • Windows apps coming to Android courtesy of Wine

    The only good it would do is for people stuck on android that need to move to a Microsoft Windows environment. Think of this as a transition.
  • Swell, Let's all...

    Install an adapter to run software that's on the "catch-up"
  • Office XP

    Being able to install, say, Office XP on my Android tablet would be pretty sweet. Not being the power user type, I've never really felt the need for anything more robust than Office XP.
  • And it will be called "WineRT!"

    But seriously, though. If you have a Google Account, and a Google Play compatible tablet, you don't really need Wine or Windows software on an Android device. I almost wouldn't mind this feature for the Chromebook, though. Especially the Pixel.
    Richard Estes