Most people outside of the Linux world haven’t heard much about WINE, the impressive program that, although not emulator, can be used to successfully run quite a few Windows programs on Linux. Soon, it may gain some mass market appeal. The reason for this is a recent demonstration at FOSDEM, which showed WINE running Windows programs on Android.
The demo was of an ARM-based version of WINE, which would run ARM compiled Windows 8 apps on Android devices. According to reports, the demo (of what appears to be Notepad) was incredibly slow, but that could be a result of both the fact that WINE was running in an Android emulator on a Mac and that the build is obviously in the very early stages. When completed and running directly on a device, the software should be much faster.
In addition to running ARM-based applications on Android, this could have interesting implications for Intel x86 based smartphones on the Medfield platform. Potentially, these devices would be able to run regular Windows programs with WINE, which would be extremely interesting. Currently, there is no estimated release date for the Android version of WINE, but I’ll certainly be waiting for any more information. If WINE on Android does indeed work well, it will be interesting to see if it gives consumers a reason to buy more of Intel’s smartphones.