One of the few major restrictions on Android is that you can’t directly run Windows software. Thanks to software programs CrossOver and Wine, however, that will change in the near future.
CrossOver and Wine have both been used for months to help run Windows software on Linux. And now, the developers of the two software platforms have announced plans to take their talents to Android.
How Do CrossOver and Wine Work?
Both software work in similar ways. CrossOver is made by a company named CodeWeavers. The software makes a commercial compatibility layer that lets you run Windows applications on Linux and Mac OS X.
That platform also helps developers port Windows games and other applications to Mac and Linux. Instead of developing a new port of the application from the bottom-up, the developer packages the application with a compatibility lawyer so it will just work.
CrossOver is based on Wine, which is an open source project funded by CodeWeavers.
How Does It Run Windows Applications on Android?
How hard is it to run Windows applications on Android?
CodeWeavers have announced that they will have a free tech preview of CrossOver for Android before the end of the year.
You can sign up to be notified whenever that version gets released.
When the Android version is ready, the changes will be copied to the open source Wine project, at which point other builds of Wine for different Android versions should become available.
What’s the Catch?
Is Windows for Android too good to be true?
CodeWeavers has already announced that there will be some catches.
First, CrossOver and Wine for Android will only work on Android x86, which are Android systems that use Intel or AMD processors.
That means most Android phones and tablets – which use ARM processors – will not work.
Why not? Well, all Windows binaries available today are x86 or x64 applications (Windows RT, the one ARM-based Windows OS, never allowed desktop applications).
Another problem is that most Windows applications – like PC games – are not built to work with a touchscreen and virtual keyboard. They’re designed for the keyboard and mouse.
Ultimately, these problems are easily solved by installing CrossOver for Android on your Android laptop or desktop, which can easily work with a keyboard and mouse.
This news is also expected to fuel more sales of Intel-based Android tablets.