During a recent conference FOSDEM (Free Open Source Software Development) in Brussel, Alexandre Julliard, an original Wine developer demo-ed a running Wine on Android. Wine is well known in the Linux and Open Source community as a Windows emulator which allows Windows based software to run on Linux platform.
While the Windows software in Wine runs in an Android ecosystem, it was very slow. Most of the blame is put on the use of Android emulator on the developer Macbook. However, ARM architecture is very much different from Intel architecture, used by both Windows and Linux, so this problem may or may not persist in real Android device.
Unfortunately the performance of the app was noted as being “horrendously slow” by Phoronix, although this was attributed to the emulation of the Android environment needed for the demo, as Wine wasn’t shown running on an actual Android device. The port is still in active development and definitely not ready for any sort of public use, but in the future it could form the backbone of some of CodeWeavers’ (the guys who make CrossOver) commercial software.
While running Android on Windows platform is not new, with Bluestacks allowing Android Apps to be run on Windows platform.
On the other hand, running Android apps on Windows has become more and more accessible thanks to the launch of applications such as BlueStacks and WindowsAndroid, which give you access to the Play Store as well as help in development of apps. Currently, only the still-in-development Winulator allows users to run popular Windows games on Android. Wine could fill the huge gap in the market, but it’s still a long way from being fully ready.
While a stable version of Wine would allow end users and developers to run and develop some x86 Windows apps for ARM Android phones, it probably would make more sense to use the software for larger screen devices. On a 10-inch tablet, for example, you could hook up a keyboard dock and load full-fledged productivity software like MS Office or Photoshop. This would certainly mean a surge in popularity for Android tablets and could disrupt the market, which is currently dominated by the iPad, which is being positioned as a PC replacement. That is the market at which Wine is looking.
Perhaps as Tech2 pointed out above, this may be the solution to Android Achiles Heel. Its apps.