Wine for Android lets you run Windows programs on your phone or tablet, but it is still a work-in-progress


Wine is a free Linux program that allows you to run Windows programs on Linux (e.g. run Microsoft Word on Ubuntu via Wine). Alexandre Julliard, a developer, is developing an ARM-friendly Wine compatibility layer that runs on Android. So Wine on Android mean Windows programs on your phone — if it’s fast enough.

Julliard showed off his Android version of Wine at the 2013 Free and Open Source Software Developers European Meeting, and, according to reports, it was “horrendously slow.” So Windows emulating Android emulating Windows was slow? No surprise there.

Julliard says that the slowness was mostly due to the fact that it was running on Android emulator. A test running natively on Android should give a real idea of how feasible running Windows applications on your Android device will be, but Wine for Android remains a work-in-progress. Meaning, there’s still no idea on when this interesting little experiment will land in users’ hands and how well it will work when it gets there.

Still, keep an eye out for this one. If it works, it could turn the tech industry on its head.

[via Engadget, image via LAI Ryanne]

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  • mathieu

    It is already possible to get Windows programs on an Android tablet with this app:

  • mukhi

    @Ashraf: well Ashraf, people tell me that iphone 5 runs faster than galaxy S III although the latter has way better CPU/RAM; i believe that may be true sometimes since iOS does not handle true multi-tasking whereas android does but at the same time gets slow because of several apps running together. you kill all apps and try to run one app at a time in GSIII, i bet it will be as fast as iphone5 running the same app, if not faster.
    my point is that no matter how good your hardware is, running win apps in android may be a PITA since win apps are even heavier than android apps. WINE coding may not be good enough, one probably also needs tweaking in win apps to make it fit for android.

  • mukhi


    nice info, i am actually looking forward to ubuntu on android; when that comes, it is gonna change smartphone experience for sure.
    on a second note, it may not be very practical to install windows apps on an android phone. win apps are always on the heavier side, therefore, running those apps is likely to slow down.

  • Ashraf

    You know with CPUs and GPUs becoming faster and RAM increasing with each iteration of an Android phone or tablet, I can see Android running Windows programs just fine. It all depends on how well Wine is coded, though, because that x86-64 vs ARM architecture is a killer.