Windows apps coming to Android devices via Wine software
A forthcoming version of the Wine software compatibility layer will enable users to run applications originally written for Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows platform to run on devices powered by Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android mobile operating system.
The open-source Wine software enables native Windows apps to run on Unix-like operating systems including Linux, duplicating essential functions by providing alternative implementations of the dynamic-link libraries that Windows programs call and integrating processes that substitute for the Windows NT kernel. Wine's authors maintain that translating Windows API calls into Portable Operating System Interface calls on the fly bypasses many of the performance and memory penalties hampering other methods for simulating computing environments, like running virtual machines.
During this weekend's FOSDEM conference in Brussels, Alexandre Julliard--one of the original Wine authors--demonstrated Wine on an emulated Android environment. Phoronix reports the demo was "horrendously slow," but chalked up performance issues to the Android emulator, which ran on an Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) MacBook.
Julliard said Wine for Android is a work-in-progress that has not yet received significant attention, indicating an official release is still many months away.
While consumers wait for an official Wine for Android release, they can access native Android apps on Windows-based PCs using BlueStacks' Layercake emulator technology, which enables Android apps to run full-screen on ultrabooks, notebooks, desktops, all-in-one PCs and tablets. More than 5 million consumers have downloaded BlueStacks' Layercake-based App Player software, and last month, Lenovo--the world's largest PC manufacturer--inked a deal to preload App Player software and services on its Idea-branded consumer PCs, offering users access to popular Android apps and games like Fruit Ninja, Evernote, Pulse, Moviefone and Instagram.
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