Want Windows compat on your Linux distro?  Try Wine, the latest build (1.1.24) is looked at here.
Want Windows compat on your Linux distro? Try Wine, the latest build (1.1.24) is looked at here.

We’ve covered WINE before, and in the age where even Microsoft appears to acknoledge the importance of XP mode in 7, it seems only fair that we cover what XP (and other Windows versions) binaries can be run within Linux.

Firstly, for anyone that doesnt know, there WINE is a package that offers a replacement Windows API for Linux users.  In short it allows Windows binaries to run in Linux.  Theres a massive database of Windows packages already working, and in cases that I have tested, performance was better through Wine on Linux than it was through native Windows.  An excellent example would be World of Warcraft.

Looking at the latest build (1.1.24):

- Support for freedesktop file associations.
  - Support for exception handling on 64-bit.
  - Improved ARB shaders.
  - Fixes for the FBO mode.
  - Many listview improvements.

and you can download it from the official site here: http://www.winehq.org

Wine running WinUAE a Windows Amiga emulator.  A testiment to the work put into Wine by its dev team.
Wine running WinUAE a Windows Amiga emulator. A testiment to the work put into Wine by its dev team.

The latest build is very stable (IMO) I always find the best way to test a Windows binary is via an emulator of some description and in this case I used WinUAE to see not only how it handled the GFX of a Windows binary, but also the added processor load of realtime emulation.  The results were as expected, frame rate was steady (and way in excess of the original Amiga) and no GFX glitches were experienced (nor sfx) I also believe the new build is slightly faster, since when testing the RSI Megademo I seem to be getting about a 5% speed increase on the same machine.

The Wine project has been going for a long time.  Users who want to upgrade their OS to Windows 7 and like the idea of XP mode, should note that firstly XP mode is available only in the more expensive versions (apparently) and it allegedly does not offer DirectX support.  Wine on the other hand has great support for software (check the home page for your favorite title) it won’t cost you anything, and its worth considering to try if as an unhappy Vista customer you are looking for an upgrade to your OS.

As I said before (even with Mr Hussain’s silliness) stick with the OS you are happiest with.  If thats XP fine.  If its not, what harm is there to shop around first? especially if that “shopping around” is not going to cost you anything to do.

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com