WINE - An open source project which could be the tipping point for Linux

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A few days back, Google did something which took everyone by surprise. It released Picasa - a very popular and advanced image archiving tool that also includes a lot of photo manipulation features - for Linux, which till now only worked in Windows . But what was cleverly shielded from the average user was that Picasa released for Linux is the very same Picasa for windows but running on top of Wine - an Open Source implementation of the Windows API on top of X and Unix. In fact any body who uses Picasa will not be aware that he/she is running a windows software in Linux unless it is pointed out.

Wine has been around for a long time now and there are even companies which operate for profit such as Codeweavers who sell a fine tuned version of wine to allow people to run Windows software on Linux.

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I build wine from cvs every

I build wine from cvs every 4 or 5 days but I don't really use it. I only used it once in the last few months. Although I agree that wine is a tremendous effort, I don't really see it helping the open source movement.
In my opinion software for home use should be free and if open source is the way to attain this goal then so be it.

There are still many windows applications that have no free/open source alternatives and wine will eventually start discouraging people from creating open source alternatives.

I say if you need to run windows software, then buy a legal Windows CD, install it and run your software on windows. If you need to run Linux software then get a download Linux for free and run your Linux software.
If you can afford to buy proprietary software for Linux, then tell the the person who wrote your windows software to port it to Linux.
Just my opinion.

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