Among the announcements of interest at this week's LinuxWorld Expo in San Francisco is the debut of the alpha version of CodeWeaver's CrossOver 6.0, which further extends the Wine Project into a service and support model.
Wine Project is a clean-room-like "re-implementation" of a Win32 API for running Windows applications on Linux natively. While the general interest in running Windows 32-bit applications on Linux may be high, the impact of Linux on the desktop (especially in instances where running licensed Windows applications is of interest) is not especially great in major markets.
ISVs don't see much of a volume opportunity, dyed-in-the-wool Linux desktop enthusiasts don't much want (or need) to buy and run Windows applications, enterprises can turn to emulation and virtualization for running shrink-wrapped and/or custom Win32 apps on Linux.
So CodeWeavers is increasingly wooing gamers with CrossOver 5.0 and being able to play Win32 games on Linux boxes.
But perhaps the most promising new development for accelerating the demand for Wine-type activities (to spur the adoption necessary to gain critical mass-level interest from commercial software deployments) comes from the burgeoning installed base of Mac OS X-on-Intel PCs.
Wine Project and CodeWeavers are moving quickly, so says Jeremy White, CEO and founder of CodeWeavers, to bring Wine benefits to Mac OS X/Intel. If this were to pass muster, Boot Camp and Parallels may have a worthy alternative, a native, non-emulation, and low-cost way of running Win32 apps on Mac OS X on x86 with no need for a Windows license.
Could be something to keep an eye on.