Last year was the last time we had a chance to talk about Wine on Android for running Windows programs on Google's mobile operating system. While it's not quite mainline yet, Wine on Android has been making much progress and can now run Windows' Solitaire game on your Android device.
Wine leader Alexandre Julliard provided a status update at FOSDEM last weekend for Wine on Google Android. The Wine on Android project is still focused upon supporting Windows binaries on Android for both Intel x86 and ARM devices.
Julliard shared that they now have working support for Android's Bionic C library, cross-compilation is supported for Wine on Android with both i686 and ARM architectures, and there's a basic graphics driver using the desktop mode.
If you require a Windows computer, however (for example, if its primary use is going to be office tasks with some light programming), it's hard to recommend anything close to that price point. This is because Windows is a much more bloated operating system and requires higher system specifications to operate and run well. You also have to be careful that you aren't buying a Windows RT device, as you won't be able to run your own code without some more setup and, even then, you'll be limited to which languages you can write.
The writer raises a good point about the appeal of native Windows games, and the much larger library of games for that platform. However, he assumes that that will be enough to keep people using the Windows version of Steam.
There are two reasons why Nadella (seen above with Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer) will find it difficult to guide the ship. One is bald, ebullient and named Steve Ballmer. The other still has hair, a whiny voice, and is named Bill Gates.
Given the fact that Gates co-founded the company and Ballmer has been there practically from day two, it will be extremely difficult for Nadella to take any decision without first thinking: "What would Bill say? What would Steve say?" The shadows of these two men will hang over Microsoft; 13 years of Ballmer as CEO have done little good for the company and whatever years he continues to spend on the board will not do any good either. Gates seems to be unable to cut the umbilical cord that ties him to Microsoft, despite all the public utterances that he is now only focused on his foundation and its alleged philanthropic activities.
"Bill Gates’ first day at work in the newly created role of technology adviser got off to a rocky start yesterday as the Microsoft founder struggled for hours to install the Windows 8.1 upgrade.
The installation hit a snag early on, sources said, when Mr. Gates repeatedly received an error message informing him that his PC ran into a problem that it could not handle and needed to restart.
After failing to install the upgrade by lunchtime, Mr. Gates summoned the new Microsoft C.E.O. Satya Nadella, who attempted to help him with the installation, but with no success.
But the old certainties are being swept away. PCs are no longer the automatic choice for business, thanks to the rise of the tablet. Neither is Windows, with Android desktops and Chromebooks also on an upward trajectory. And, thanks to BYOD, most firms are already used to staff turning up with iPads and Kindle Fire tablets; Microsoft's desktop dominance is already fraying around the edges.
Windows 8 is officially a flop. Despite attempts to force people to use the operating system by shipping restricted boot on new Windows 8 tablets and phones (not to mention a record smashing advertising budget), sales have been sluggish. What we have here is our best opportunity yet to help people give up Windows in favor of an operating system that respects our freedoms to choose, share, change, and view the code we use to conduct our digital lives.
Further, Wintel cannot even compete on price/performance at the low end because M$ charges way too much for licensing and restricting the freedom of users to use the hardware they buy to fullest potential. That just won’t fly any longer. There are OEMs who want to compete selling small cheap computers of every kind and they will ship Android/Linux, Chrome OS/Linux and GNU/Linux in 2014. You can bet on that. Margins are too small in this segment to pay the Wintel tax.