I’ve been very much impressed with the state of the Wine project lately.  It’s gotten to the point where I can assume that a program will work under Wine, rather than assuming that it won’t.

One of the major supporting companies, Codeweavers, has done a great job with packaging up Wine and putting a fair bit of polish into it.  It installs flawlessly (just run their custom installer) and then gives every user their own virtual Windows environment.  It also has support for a system-wide environment, but I haven’t played around with that much. 

We should be seeing them release a 5.0 in early October.  I’ve been keeping a VMware image around for playing with Windows apps every once in a while (about once a month right now), but this might just be the end of that.

I think we’re going to see Wine as major player in the next six months to a year.  Since most applications are written to target Windows ‘98-Windows 2000, Wine becomes a very attractive way of getting them to work.  What I’d like to see someone partner with Codeweavers to create a mixture of a standard Linux distribution with Codeweavers’ Crossover product.  This would allow a company to wholesale replace their Windows desktops with Crossover and keep many of the in-house VB and one-off applications that make it so hard to switch platforms.

As a postscript, the wine-patches list is getting something like 20-30 patches a day!  It’s starting to rival the development activity level of the Linux kernel itself.

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