What Does Wine 1.0 Mean for Business?
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What Does Wine 1.0 Mean for Business?
by Joe Brockmeier - Mar. 21, 2008Comments (6)
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This is a 1.0 that I wasn't sure would ever come. No, I'm not talking about the Duke Nukem game that's been vaporware for the last decade or so -- I'm talking about Wine 1.0, which is slated for release on June 6th of this year. That's a mere 15 years after development was started. Wine, if you're not already familiar with it, is an application that allows Windows apps to run unmodified on Linux and other *nix operating systems. The idea behind Wine is simple -- one of the blockers that keeps people from switching to Linux is the fact that many of the popular applications are Windows only. Convincing commercial vendors to port popular apps like Photoshop to Linux requires a significant userbase on Linux. Of course, generating a significant market share for Linux is dependent on having popular apps... you see the problem here. So I've been rooting for the Wine Project to deliver a version capable of running most (if not all) popular Windows apps on Linux. They've been most of the way there for some time. And commercially supported distributions of Wine that make it really easy to use have been available for years, thanks to CodeWeavers. I haven't had much use for Windows-only applications for quite some time, but I have friends and colleagues that swear by CodeWeavers to run Microsoft Office. In fact, the pending 1.0 release of Wine is a golden example of how companies and open source communities can and do work well together. CodeWeavers employs several Wine developers and has given a lot of code back to the community. So businesses have had the option of deploying Wine to run specific Windows applications for some time. But with the release of Wine 1.0, it might just be the boost that the project needs to lure more users and organizations away from Windows -- particularly as XP prepares to ride off into the sunset, and businesses are finding Vista unpalatable as an alternative. As Wine approaches 1.0, it has 1,234 applications certified for "Platinum" status -- meaning that they run flawlessly out of the box. Unfortunately, the Wine folks also certify more than 2,200 applications as "garbage" -- meaning that they don't run at all. So the 1.0 release will mark a significant milestone, but the Holy Grail of running any and all Windows apps on Linux is still a ways off. The greatest challenge for Wine (and CodeWeavers) isn't just Photoshop and Microsoft Office -- it's all the homebrew applications that organizations use that require Windows. If those run on Wine 1.0, a number of organizations will have the option of moving away from Windows and onto a Linux desktop.Do you think many organizations will go for that option? Please let us know in the comments. Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier works for Novell as the openSUSE Community Manager.
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by Lisa Hoover on Mar. 21, 2008Duke Nukem. Heh.
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by Sam Dean on Mar. 21, 2008Interesting stuff. What I wonder is what kinds of performance problems, if any, Windows applications will have with Wine. Usually, whether we're talking about emulation or other ways of getting Windows apps to run on non-Windows platforms, there are performance issues. They've lessened recently, though.
It's nice to see more open source solutions mingling with Windows apps. Freespire does so:
And, I like the fact that the new version of GNOME has an app called Vinagre that lets me connect to Windows systems:
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by on Mar. 21, 2008Games won't get ported until the linux userbase is significantly large.
The userbase won't become large until it's known and reputable.
It won't become reputable to home users until it's at a point where it's used by big companies instead of windows.
Wine is very close to providing a better upgrade path than Vista for most companies, but games and software that's heavily integrated into the windows platform won't be ported or available on Unix for a while to come, if ever.
Still given the increased demand for m$ to become more open and the money to be made in interoperability wine will become invaluable very soon I recon :)
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by on Mar. 21, 2008Games are irrelevant to businesses. For home users, if you want games, I'd say either get a console or allot a small portion of your hard drive to dual boot XP as a pure game console.)
Wine is great, and I'm glad for the advancements it has made. Still, while I think work should continue along those lines, I think the ultimate answer is to continue building and improving a full suite of Linux applications to make any programs from proprietary holdouts either irrelevant or obsolete. With programs like Scribus, Inkscape, etc. I don't think anyone would really even notice if Adobe made a Linux version of a desktop publishing program, and I haven't yet run into something that I needed Photoshop for with Gimp around. Keep working in that direction, and in a few years time it will be the proprietary companies' loss for missing the boat, especially if those same superior, open, and free apps get ported over to other operating systems later on.
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by on Mar. 22, 2008Web Worker Daily linked to this post, and I replied to one of the comments there.
Compulsive link followers may find it interesting enough to read.
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by on Mar. 23, 2008CodeWeavers will soon be supporting Games as well. :D
see: http://wine-review.blogspot.com/2008/03/codeweavers-to-release-crossover...
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