Wine has been helping Linux and Mac users to run Windows apps on their operating systems since 1993 but this week Wine’s original developer, Alexandre Julliard, showed off a Windows app, namely Solitaire, running on Android. Those who saw the presentation admitted that the performance was “horrendously slow” but that was attributed to the fact that Solitaire was actually running in an Android emulator on a MacBook rather than an actual Android device.
Running Android apps on a Windows PC has been done before, in fact popular apps like BlueStacks are already available and working on everything from Windows XP right up to Windows 8. But running Windows applications on an Android device, now that’s a great trick that we haven’t really seen done well before.
Wine for Android is in development for both ARM and Intel processors but isn’t planned to be ready for a general release for some time to come. Julliard said that CodeWeavers, the company backing the Wine project, would have more incentive to commit resources to the project if Intel was able to grab a greater portion of the Android market share.
Wine is not the only project aiming to run Windows applications on Google’s Android OS. Winulator is an app for Android which helps translate some of the instructions that Windows programs use into the instructions that ARM based Android tablets use. As a proof of concept the guys at Winulator have even shown off Starcraft: Brood War running on an Android tablet without any hitches.