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Wine Software

Wired Talks Wine 238

matroid writes "Wired reports that the upcoming WINE version 1.0 may be just what Linux needs to get users to migrate from Windows to Linux."
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Wired Talks Wine

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  • Lindows improvement? (Score:4, Informative)

    by MiTEG ( 234467 ) on Saturday January 26, 2002 @02:35AM (#2905523) Homepage Journal
    Hopefully Lindows will start implenting this new version of WINE and maybe start being able to run more programs. I think Lindows will be more successful at getting converts than WINE alone.
  • Donate to WINE (Score:2, Interesting)

    by satanami69 ( 209636 )
    I'd really like to see this take off, and not just because my dad bought Corel stock. I went to find how to contribute to WINE, and they have this to say []. If you haven't yet started the kernel hacking, then take up this project. Give them your time.
  • Wine Mainstream (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CaptCanuk ( 245649 ) on Saturday January 26, 2002 @02:39AM (#2905531) Journal
    I'm sure if Wine 1.0 had no difficulties running MS Office, IE+Outlook Express, Halflife CounterStrike and ICQ, a large chunk of dual booters would never have to go back to Windows.
    • Re:Wine Mainstream (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Da Schmiz ( 300867 )
      *This* is the migration path that Lindows is trying to be. I'd give Lindows a try if I wasn't convinced that Linux Mandrake + Ximian Desktop + free Wine would do as good a job or better. (Substitute your favorite disty if you prefer. And please don't flame me about GNOME vs. KDE. I don't care.)

      Why pay $99 for a package that you can get for free? Especially when Red Carpet will install Wine seamlessly and painlessly, with just three clicks.

      Myself, I'm in the process of moving from a Linux-only system to a dual-boot Linux/Windows system, only because there are a few apps I still can't get to work in VMWare. (Specifically, I have no way of installing software on my Palm, and anything multimedia works poorly if at all.) If Wine can get these to work, and possibly IE and Word, for the few times when Opera and OpenOffice don't quite do the trick, I'm all for it.

      Wine has (or potentially will have) all the advantages of Lindows, with none of the disadvantages. I'd rather just spend the $99 on another monitor so I can have a setup like Jon from ThinkGeek's happy family [].

      • "...anything multimedia works poorly if at all."

        I definitely have to disagree to this broad statement. Recently I've found myself rebooting into Linux just to play movies. Mplayer [] is the video player I've used any operating system.

        The following quotes a developer on it's major strengths -- speed, synchronization, and support (It's accompanying dozens of codecs & builtin format support doesn't hurt either):
        I didn't write any codecs, just some players. I spent a lot of time finding the best way to parse bad damaged input files (both MPEG and AVI) and to do perfect A-V sync with seeking ability. My player is rock solid playing damaged MPEG files (useful for some VCDs), and it plays bad AVI files which are unplayable with the famous windows media player. Even AVI files without index chunk are playable, and you can rebuild their indexes with the -idx option, thus enabling seeking! As you see, stability and quality are the most important things for me, but the speed is also amazing.
    • That's so damn true.. very recently I finally got Wine to launch reliably and play HL: CS (turns out that for a year or two I just had one bad TTF that fucked everything to hell).

      As a result, I haven't had to boot into windows in over a week, and I'm not deprived of my CounterStrike!
    • Re:Wine Mainstream (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tempest303 ( 259600 ) <> on Saturday January 26, 2002 @04:04AM (#2905670) Homepage
      I'm sure if Wine 1.0 had no difficulties running MS Office, IE+Outlook Express, Halflife CounterStrike and ICQ

      And for that matter, people could actually more fairly compare their linux equivilants. For now, it's true that MS Office currently lacks a full-fledged competitor. OpenOffice looks like it will become exactly that, but it'll be a little while yet in coming, and a transition period will be necessary. Halflife you've got me on too. However, the others you mentioned?

      IE? Galeon. It's fast, stable, can use Netscape/Mozilla plugins, and a GREAT Gnome interface. (or Konq, for the KDE people :)

      Outlook? Try Evolution. Like Outlook, but without the viruses, and features 35% less Suck(TM)!

      And ICQ? GnomeICU, Gaim, Gabber... need I list more?

      I really think that with the advent of StarOffice 6.0, Mozilla 1.0, and Ximian Connector, combined with a great, well-refined WINE, we may finally see the beginnings of the Year of Linux on the Desktop(TM)
      • "I really think that with the advent of StarOffice 6.0, Mozilla 1.0, and Ximian Connector, combined with a great, well-refined WINE, we may finally see the beginnings of the Year of Linux on the Desktop(TM)"

        while i seriously hope you are right, it isn't merely a question of "equaling" the features of MS Office or of the Windows Desktop (Bleech!), or bringing native Win32 code over to the LINUX platform (look at the history of Win emulators on the Mac), even if WINE is perfect, thunking is not free, performance wise, and Bill's Thing will be shipping on MILLIONS of new PCs every month for the foreseeable future

        we in the community have to offer a significantly better user experience, with LINUX native apps

        we come in strong on price, free support and passion

        we come in weak on marketing, abilty to tie our LINUX products to a "Big Name" tech provider (like AOL) and we have no ability to make the OEM Mafia (Dell, Compaq, Gateway, HP, Sony, et al) dual boot enable any large portion of their new machines

        also, "The Curse of *NIX", which i have been dealing in my work since before the widespread release of SRV, continues to haunt us....especially in the area of idiot proof desktop setup and functionality

        X continues to be less than perfect and hard to get going really smoothly without SOME user experience and intervention

        ...and although I have great hopes that in the mid-term plus (18-36 months) the battle/conflict/thing between Gnome and KDE will result in KILLER desktop functionality, in the short term, the desktop setup continues to be a real weakness in selling LINUX to anyone not comfortable with at least a little diddling, twiddling and fiddling with their OS setup (and that is a LOT of people)
      • >IE? Galeon. ... Outlook? Try Evolution. ... And
        >ICQ? GnomeICU, Gaim, Gabber... need I list more?

        The problem with this line of thinking is that if it was so easy to ween people off of what they know and onto something "like IE" or "like Outlook" or "like ICQ", it would also be relatively easy to ween them off of Windows and onto something "like Windows, but better", doncha think?

        People don't want "an office suite", they want OFFICE. They KNOW Office. Even if they don't necessarily LIKE Office, they know how to use it and don't want to learn something "like Office" unless it's EXACTLY "like Office".

        • People don't want "an office suite", they want OFFICE. They KNOW Office. Even if they don't necessarily LIKE Office, they know how to use it and don't want to learn something "like Office" unless it's EXACTLY "like Office".

          That's what they say, it's not how they act if even the slightest deterant is put up against MS Office while StarOffice is the easy pre-installed choice.

          What they complain about is change and any hassles they might have to put up with. My experience matches what Lumpy said in this thread;

      • Halflife you've got me on too.

        Half-Life works very well [] on TransGaming's WineX, aside from some glitches with the starting menus (this problem has been fixed in TransGaming's internal builds, though, and will be incorporated into the upcoming WineX release). It's not perfect yet, but it rocks on my system. :)

    • I don't think icq (or any other messaging app) is really a problem. There is LICQ, GnomeICU, GAIM, Everybuddy, and last but not least Jabber has many Linux clients.

      I think Microsoft holds two different sets of users by the balls right now. One group is the office users, who all use Office and Outlook. The other group is home users, who do stuff like play games. Right now I think an Office or even Word "Winelet" would pull over more dual booters than CounterStrike or any other FPSs.
  • From the article: "We don't think Linux is compatible with the level of service, product consistency and vendor relationships that customers expect when they interact with a product," [Microsoft's Linux Competitive Manager] Wasko said.

    Isn't that exactly what WINE intends to provide?

    Perhaps "competitive" is the wrong word -- the idea is to make it intercompatible. Of course, anything that has the same function as a Microsoft product is, by definition, competing with Microsoft!

    As István Lebor said: "I also find it intriguing that Microsoft has a Linux Competitive Manager if they don't see Linux as competition."


  • WINE necessary?? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Partisan01 ( 547933 )
    Is WINE really necessary for Linux growth in the desktop area? I believe that Linux has enough of it's own apps native to the OS that we don't need to go out and run all the windows apps out there. From my experience Linux apps might be a little harder to set up, but eventually once they're running they're much more stable and more reliable then the windows counter-parts. Granted there are a few things I'd love to see work better in Linux like digital cameras but in time I have a feeling that will all be coded over.

    Nate Tobik
    • *nix is pretty much capable of supporting itself, it's just that if you remove the "oh I can't run this in Linux" problem that people will have basically no reason NOT to switch over, if they want to.

      It's all about choices.
      • Exactly my feelings. This incesssant desire to chase the dragon's tail instead of forging past it and leave it behind continues to baffle me. As much as I hate the over used term "innovate" - where is the innovation in the Linux community?

        You cannot win by following, only by leading.

    • by Ryu2 ( 89645 ) on Saturday January 26, 2002 @02:57AM (#2905566) Homepage Journal
      Of course it is. People just aren't going to give up the apps they already use.

      Look at Mac OS X -- this UNIX-based OS, has built in a Mac OS 9 emulator, expresslly so people can run their old apps. Is it necessary for OS X itself to run? NO! But without such a emulator, Mac OS X would probably have not taken off as quicky as it is.

      The situation is exactly the same with Wine and Windows, especially if one views Linux as an "upgrade" to Windows and wishes to target disgruntled Windows users.
      • Intersting, however OS 9 apps run in a box of sorts. They can take over the screen, but it is clear when an app is running in classic mode. It is much the same as where VMWare could take you.

        WINElib has the potential to do for Linux what Carbon did for OS X.

        Carbon is an OS X native API that is based on the classic API. Additionally, Carbon was ported to OS 8 and OS 9. This meant that you could have been developing for Carbon the past few years and having OS X native applications that ran under Mac OS. For extra fun, they could have FAT binaries (I think that I'm using the term right, they had something like that) where they could include a Classic PPC binary, Classic 68K binary, and Carbon OS X binary all as one application.

        WINElib is interesting, you can build against WINElib and compile for Windows and Linux, supporting both platforms with native applications. The trick is a strategy that lets you target both OSes for now, it lets you keep your Windows market and expand into the Linux market as it matures.

        Personally, I think that Apple should work on getting WINElib to be Aquafied. Then you could build targetting WINElib for Windows/OS X, and Linux or other UNIXes. Obviously you'd hate to make Win32 the standard API, but Apple dropped it when they dropped OpenSTEP for Win32, so oh well.

    • Is WINE really necessary for Linux growth in the desktop area? I believe that Linux has enough of it's own apps native to the OS that we don't need to go out and run all the windows apps out there.

      One reason: Lotus Notes. Granted, there are also open source alternatives out there (such as for instance Tutos []), but that doesn't help you much if you are an employee at a company which uses Notes. Wine allows you to run Linux on your workstation while still being able to access the corporate document and discussion databases.

      Of course, it is in IBM's power to show their true commitment to Linux by making this point moot with a native Linux Notes client, but for some weird reason they don't want to, despite their Linux commitment in many other areas []...

  • I say way to go WINE!

    V1.0 gives a nice feeling of culmination to the project (granted, I know they won't stop). Good software always gets past V1, but it's an important milestone!

    (sorry, could not contain my enthusiasm for WINE. If necessary, moderate me to -1 never to be seen again.)
  • ...thank God for those guys! But I do have one request: could you PLEASE integrate OpenGL support in your RPMs? Everybody wants it anyway...Wine is a bit long to compile, and RPMs are easier to manage anyway.
  • Yes, but IMHO I think that having Linux-native versions / workalikes (and I mean _exactly_ alike) of Windows programs would be better, both for the users of the programs and for the Linux community in general.
    • I agree, except for the _exactly_ part. Props to the WINE guys and all, but I just like native programs.
      • Well, at least some native Linux versions of Windows programs should be similar enough to their Windows counterparts that people can just pick them up and go, with minimal "re-learning".

        Not _ALL_ Linux programs have to be just like the Windows ones, nor do KDE/GNOME/[insert favorite X Window manager] have to be like Windows. But if there were say, some popular Linux-native office apps that not only were of good quality (and very compatible with the files generated by MS Word, Excel, etc.) but had an interface similar to MS Office*, there would no longer be the, "Well, but I've already gone to the trouble of learning MS Office!" excuse.

        Remember, people take entire CLASSES to learn MS Office*. Neither they nor their bosses (who would have to pay them while they re-learn what they already know) would be happy if one day all their MS Office knowledge meant nothing, just because the Chief Technology Officer / IT department of the company they were working at decided to switch over to Linux.

        *When I say "MS Office" I mean all the MS Office apps, such as Word, Excel, etc.
  • WINE? (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by Mahtar ( 324436 )
    Yea, I hate when I get drunk and wake up next to some random OS.

    *booooo* Lame joke.
  • by mdubinko ( 459807 ) on Saturday January 26, 2002 @02:57AM (#2905567) Homepage
    "I also find it intriguing that Microsoft has a Linux Competitive Manager if they don't see Linux as competition."
    -- from WINE contributor István Lebor
  • by hack0rama ( 253610 ) on Saturday January 26, 2002 @03:02AM (#2905580) Homepage Journal
    WINE lets CodeWeavers has created for QuickTime and Shockwave run so smoothly that I never think about them.

    I have paid 20$ for CodeWeaver's Crossover plugins. And like he said Shockwave and Quicktime run very smoothly with Galeon + Mozilla 0.9.8. Without having any noticable load on the system resources.

    So do your part go pay 20$ and get Crossover plugin. While enjoying all the Quicktime, Shockwave fun, you will be helping Codeweavers in not ending up like Loki.

    I had mixed feelings about Transgaming, since they may not be helping in getting Linux game ports and so on. But with Loki gone I might support anything that will get good games on linux.

    Its fine with Crossoevr plugins, since Apple was not going to do a Quiktime port for Linux anyway. And I think I read that Apple did support Codeweavers in getting Quicktime working with Wine.
  • My Solution (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bildstorm ( 129924 )

    Hey, I love Wine. It's a great product, and I think it's neat to run whatever I can directly in Linux using Wine.

    However, I have to be realistic. One of my favourite games is Civ III, and since Infogrames isn't the most cooperative publisher in the world, I doubt a Linux version will arrive. And Wine doesn't run it well.

    So, I'm stuck with my next system being one using both Wine and VMWare.

    I think that's really the best anyone can hope for now. I'm not planning on upgrading my Windows version any time soon, though, so if you're a developer, remember the Win98 SE people.

    (Of course, I bought Alpha Centauri for Linux. It's a shame about Loki. Can't wait for Bioware to release Neverwinter Nights to run on Linux. And those TOOLS better work under Linux as well.)

  • "Started in 1993". . .I hadn't realized wine is that old. . .it's almost as old as windows itself. . .

    I also hadn't realized that wine was nearing 1.0. . .the last time I used it was in '96 and at the time it served only as a cool novelty. I think I spent a few hours setting it up just to run notepad off of a windows share and then xhost it via Exceed back over to the same windows machine it was shared from. Hey. . .I had to have somthing to amuse me for all that work :).

    I'll have to give it a shot again some time soon. . .
  • by icejai ( 214906 ) on Saturday January 26, 2002 @03:15AM (#2905604)
    I think Wine should get with the times and follow suit in today's popular code-naming fad. eg. Whistler, Yamhill (what the heck!?), etc etc.

    Friend says: "yo dude... I just installed Merlot 1.9 ... it's pretty sweet"
    Other Guy: "yeah.... it's pretty sweet man... but I can't wait for Sauvignon Blanc comes out. I hear there's gonna be some big changes in that one"
    Friend says: "sweet"
    Other Guy: "yeah... super sweet"
  • niche (Score:3, Funny)

    by glwtta ( 532858 ) on Saturday January 26, 2002 @03:17AM (#2905605) Homepage
    some degree of success in niche-server scenarios

    What's the niche? Web servers?

  • What about Win4Lin?? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pjbass ( 144318 )
    I've been using Win4Lin 3.0 (Win4Lin []) by Netravese for a few months now, and find it to be completely awesome. Now it does cost money, but this is actually booting up a copy of Windows inside an X session. Now granted it only support 95/98, but the article mentions that WINE only supports that as well.

    I highly recommend Win4Lin for those of you who are forced into using M$ applications at your place of work (Outlook, etc.). It is pretty fast, and supports everything from Windows networking to sound and primitive USB. I tried WINE before and after Win4Lin, and I know why I'm sticking with Win4Lin.
    • by glwtta ( 532858 ) on Saturday January 26, 2002 @03:21AM (#2905616) Homepage

      Except of course, that running Windows kinda defeats the point of not running Windows.

    • Im using VMware for the same reason. Im glad to see that Win4Lin supports exchange now. But VMware runs WinXP. Now, if someone would do some benchmarks and compare win4lin 3.0 and vmware 3.0. That would make some interesting reading.

      Average U.S. prison sentence for a murder charge - 6.3 Years.
      Average U.S. prison sentence for a marijuana charge - 10 years.
    • AFAIK it doesn't support USB, unless they've added it in the last few days.
    • I ran an early version. I didn't use it much, but I didn't need to. The interesting part, though, is that when I upgraded my kernel, Win4Lin stopped working. Appearantly each version of Win4Lin only works with one (or a very few) versions of the Linux kernel. This is quite bad news, as that changes on an irregular, but rapid schedule. And not all at once. But sometimes (security, disk corruption, etc.) it's important to make the upgrade quickly . So you can't wait for 6 weeks (or more) for NetTraverse to come out with their upgrade.

      VMWare doesn't have that problem, as it is more insulated from the OS (being virtual hardware). And WINE doesn't report having that problem (well, it's still beta and under rapid development, so maybe it really does).

      But this meant that as nice as Win4Lin was, I had to stop using it relatively soon for over a couple of months. And I never did start using it again.
  • by Boiling_point_ ( 443831 ) on Saturday January 26, 2002 @03:30AM (#2905633) Homepage
    Submitter comment: "...WINE version 1.0 may be just what Linux needs to get users to migrate from Windows to Linux"

    I felt the article dealt mainly with removing the need for dual-booting for more and more existing Linux users. Why would a Windows user go to the trouble of installing Linux+WINE just to get what they already have (working Win32 apps and games)?

    I (and probably other Windows users) will switch when Linux outperforms Windows where it counts - when it does what they have come to expect a PC to do: when it installs without much hassle, when their hardware works immediately or with minimal driver hunting, when they are almost guaranteed a supply of games (remember the success of Commodore 64s?) and when the applications are simple to install and use, and are compatible with files made by colleagues and friends.

    I love the idea of WINE. I love the idea of Linux. I've tried Linux. Unfortunately though, I still use Windows because near-enough isn't really good enough. WINE is handy, but a 'Killer App' needs to be something more than simply matching the competition - it has to be the one thing you don't get anywhere else.

    • I (and probably other Windows users) will switch when Linux outperforms Windows where it counts

      Linux already outperforms Windows where it counts for me: performance, stability, freedom, licensing, price, availability of databases and programming tools (C, C++, Perl, fortran, Objective-C, awk, bash, DB, postgresql or mysql, and more - are all *just a normal part* of most Linux installs, but with Windows you are lucky to get QBasic or VBScript, which are jokes by comparison), cool interfaces (after Windowmaker, Windows is, well, a little pedestrian - I keep wanting to roll up windows, switch to other desktops, etc - and I hate task bars along the bottom or top of the screen - give me a few icons down the side, and a menu that *doesn't* have a misleading label like "Start" .. and it is SO easy to create your own themes in WindowMaker)

      And being dependent upon a single, monopolistic supplier, with proven predatory (anti-capitalistic) practices towards competition, security, and user independence - these count as things to avoid my books.

      It is already time to switch. Windows is its own killer app.

    • I suspect that when WINE becomes version 1.0 (or at least stable and more useful) then it will start being included in the various distributions. They are generally a bit leery of including software that's too beta, however.

      So that takes care of part of your scenario. WINE will be installed as a standard part of the installation of Linux.

      Another part of your problem has to do with "what is the target audience". At the moment the target audience of WINE is basically people who are hackers. But remember that last year at this time, that was the target audience of Mozilla. I don't follow WINE, so I don't know how well it's coming, but at some point it will start running most windows programs. Or at least a very large number of them without problems. At that point they will switch to having a target audience of power-users as their beta testers. From that point on, things should move rather quickly until all perviously released software for Windows will work with WINE. They may never be able to get OfficeXP to work with it. There may be license issues, targeted code, or both. So that's the basic time limit.

      I, however, would be ecstatic if it progressed to the point where I could run Passport Designs "Encore!" music composition program. (It won't run under Win98, only Win95.) And if it could also run Office 97, then windows could leave without a return ticket. (Well, the HP OfficeJet G55 software would also need improvement, but it's already come a long way.)
  • by cmoney ( 216557 ) on Saturday January 26, 2002 @03:50AM (#2905651)
    Okay, I'm a newbie when comes to Wine's technical side, but what happens when Microsoft releases the .0.1 release of their APIs specifically to break Wine compatibility?

    Or what happens when Microsoft updates their EULA to read: "this program must run on an officially licensed Microsoft Operating System" or starts requiring vendors who want to use the XP logo on their boxes to start including that wording also?

    Heck, they could just put it all under the guise of their new security stance.

    I'm not trolling, these are all possibilities when playing with MS! You can bet they've got contigency plans all ready for the day when Wine becomes a threat.
    • by BitwizeGHC ( 145393 ) on Saturday January 26, 2002 @04:17AM (#2905698) Homepage

      Or what happens when Microsoft updates their EULA to read: "this program must run on an officially licensed Microsoft Operating System" or starts requiring vendors who want to use the XP logo on their boxes to start including that wording also?

      I have seen EULAs that do something like this. The wording they use is "approved operating system", and then go on to state that -- you guessed it -- the only approved OS is Windows.
      • And we all know that end users would NEVER violate the EULA, never ever! Especially considering that they read it so thouroghly.

        I don't see licenses like this being a problem for WINE. They don't prevent WINE from being distributed, and they don't prevent anyone from using the programs on Linux anyway. The only problem would be businesses who wanted to use WINE, but even most businesses don't read the EULA. MS would have to come up with some sort of BSA for WINE, and if they did it would be so obvious to everyone that they were complete and total jerks that it would be bad PR.

        • It won't matter whether the users know that they've agreed or not. As MS implements their license activation schemes, the environment will be verified. They don't even need to tell you why is isn't working. (And I believe that their license gives them permission to reformat the boot partition. (Not explicitly, but I believe that it says that they can add or remove any data from your disk if they decide to. With no limitation as to why.)
  • again? (Score:2, Insightful)

    I've heard all this "wine (or VM or wahtever) will convice users to switch from windows" before. For the last two or three years I've been hearing it. What I'd rather hear is "many new apps that kick the crap out of their windows counterparts in usability and compatability are coming out and people will have no logical choice but to swithch to Open Source". Linux is getting a bad rep by coming on too strong with this "I'm just as good as windows" crap. What we need is for linux or other open source alternatives to show that just because it isn't Microsoft dosen't mean it won't work "In the Real World". Too often, Linux looks good on paper, but when it comes right down to it, it still can't replace windows 100%. And I'm talking about the desktop, not the server here. In other words, I'm saying a bunch of shit that's been said time and time again, but no one seems to be listening.
  • Choices... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by buckrogers ( 136562 )
    I believe that anything that gives us all more choices is a good thing.

    I bought win98 on several computers and a lot of old games and programs over the past 10 years, and if I can find a way to run them in parrallel with a better OS, then I will do so.

    One of the things that people don't realize is that windows 9x is no longer a supported platform, if there are security holes and the like on that platform, you are on your own. I bet that soon even the virus scanner people will abandon those old platforms, and then you will be in a lot of trouble.

    At least WINE will be fully supported by a lot of dedicated programmers for a long time to come. Who knows, we might even learn a few things from the dark side of the source (i.e. windows) and become better programmers.

    And I have been wondering about decompiling programs into their original source and recompling them for newer platforms. Doesn't transmeta and the as400 do something this on the fly? It would be so cool to take my windows programs into the coming 64bit and 128bit computing environments that are on the way.

    Or to run my full on version of MSOfficePro 4.2 on a PPC. :) That was the best version that Office ever released. It was small, fast and had a reasonable number of features compared what we have now. grrrrr.
  • The way I see it, Wine is best used as a tool for engineering special-purpose Windows software into legacy status. I'm talking about software that businesses depend on that is written in-house or by smaller software companies. This software typically doesn't have all the secret API "features" that only big proprietary companies in bed with M$ use. For replacing Photoshop, Office, multimedia editors, etc., we still need native Open Source applications.

    How's this for an idea.. an Open Source co-op. Lets say 10,000 people need a replacement for Photoshop. If they pool their resources at say, $100 per user (about 1/6 the price of a Photoshop license), that's a million bucks. The co-op then pays perhaps 10 programmers to work full time for 2 years turning Gimp into the most beautifully written image editor ever. Yes, some form of contract would be needed. Yes, the co-op would have to wait until the money is pooled before hiring. But it could work. Or here's another wacky idea. Invest that $1mil and pay a couple programmers to work full time using the interest alone. Money is powerful. We (the OSS community), really need to take advantage of it.
    • A guy I work with has an ex-Microsoft buddy who, since cashing out rich, has turned his attention to the Open Source community.

      A few years back he had a, what seemed to everyone, brilliant idea. He wanted to start a company that would provide matchmaking services between companies needing Open Source coding work done and programmers willing to put time into such projects. The theory was that if 10,000 people wanted a replacement for Photoshop, they'd pool $100 into a bank fund that would later pay for 2 yrs of someone's full-time work.

      It all *horribly* flopped. What this gentlemen found out whas that no one wanted to pay for an open source project. There were thousands of developers signing up for his service, some even with already planned apps. Except the user-end of the community didn't want to pony up, not even a nickel. They all wanted it free. Similar situation as with Loki.

      Also, consider that 1 million dollars won't buy you 10 developers for 2 years. More realistically, $1M will get you a team of 5 devs (5 x $80K) and 10 testers (10 x $60K) for one year. $1M is peanuts in this industry.
  • Meanwhile... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SlashChick ( 544252 ) <.erica. .at.> on Saturday January 26, 2002 @04:16AM (#2905694) Homepage Journal
    ...while Lindows, Wine, and Mozilla are all struggling to get to the vaunted 1.0 mark, two copies of Windows XP are being sold every second. []

    If that doesn't motivate you to contribute to these projects and help get them out the door, I don't know what will.
  • by Gazelem ( 460580 ) on Saturday January 26, 2002 @04:32AM (#2905721)
    ...if the aim is to get converts. How many people converted to the mac because of softPC? I personally don't know any.

    Remember OS/2? One of their claims was "it's a better DOS than DOS" and it was true. OS/2 could run DOS with multiple versions and multiple configurations. But did it take off? No. And one of the reasons is that it didn't have the software support. People don't want emulators, they want native applications.

    Emulators are good for that application or two that you still need to run aside from your main software. The key is to make that "main software" Linux software and get the users to like them better than the Windows software.

    If people want to run Windows apps, they'll run Windows.
    • A good friend of mine wanted a new laptop. He's fiddled with Linux, and he loves it. He hates Windows, but has purchased WAAAAAAAAAY too many apps for it. I told him to get a mac laptop. He knows how great macs are, and he loves OS X. But he says, I'll have to spend the next 5 years buying software for a mac to replace what I have now.
      I couldnt argue with him. However, he is NOT the only person in that scenario? What do we do with those people?
      • Well, even a Windows user would eventually have to upgrade apps and hardware too...if they upgraded Windows.

        Quick fix: Get VMware. It works very well, but has different limitations compared to Wine; most non-3D accelerated programs work perfectly. Win4Lin is also good, and cheaper. It can run applications faster, but it only runs Windows programs, and a smaller number of those. Both require a copy of Windows, where Wine does not. The CD that came with the laptop (if any) may or may not work. Sites: and

        For my effort, I've started to add applications -- even trivial things like screensavers -- to the Wine Application Database []. I've included debugging output for apps -- if they work perfectly or fail drastically. I've included notes on how to get things working with Wine. I've borrowed CDs from friends and tried to install them under Wine.

        Do the same, and you might be surprised. Most programs don't work under Wine, but a surprisingly growing list of programs do. Some do require hand-masaging, though most don't.

        If more people report what they find -- good or bad -- Wine will get better for the general user.

    • This is an often-touted excuse for not having WINE. OS/2 failed because of Microsoft's per-CPU licensing schemes. No-one would buy OS/2 when they had already paid for Windows.

      Perhaps you should remember that Office apps supported their competitors' file formats in order to speed migration. That is what WINE is about and is an excellent idea.

  • by bnf ( 16861 )
    "I was so happy that my kids could finally play games with me instead of on mom's Windows computer," White said.

    This guy and his kids live with his mother? CEO's jut don't get bank no more.

  • by heretic108 ( 454817 ) on Saturday January 26, 2002 @04:57AM (#2905755)
    One of the major weaknesses of Wine so far is that there's no support for Windows-only drivers. For example, Matrox Marvel G200 MJPEG video capture. This wipes out whole classes of applications - multimedia, OCR and others.
    Fortunately, VMWare version 3 now supports USB, which can allow installation of drivers for USB hardware.

    I can envisage that many people will follow an integration path like:
    1) Mainly using Windows, add a linux partition
    2) Learn the Linux apps, often boot Windows partition
    3) Progressively migrate Windows apps to VMware under Linux, less frequent use of Windows partition
    4) Progressively migrate Windows apps from under VMware into the Wine environment
    5) Progressively convert data from Windows apps to formats usable by native Linux apps

    Hopefully, at some point along this path, one can delete the Windows partition, and later the VMware box, and use only native Linux apps or run some Windows apps under wine.

    Realistically, I would hope to be completely free of my Windows partition in 6-12 months, and free of VMware in 6-18 months.

    But the time to really 'pop the cork' on the Wine is when it supports native Windows device drivers, which will be a feat indeed!
  • by chrysalis ( 50680 ) on Saturday January 26, 2002 @05:00AM (#2905759) Homepage
    The only reason I need Windows for (until I get a Mac) is music. There are excellent Windows/Mac apps with poor OSS alternatives yet.
    So I tried various versions of Wine and VMWare.
    Success was poor on Wine except with sample editors.
    It was way better with VMWare except for one thing : latency. Although software was properly working, the sound card output had far too much latency. I guess the problem would be the same with any Windows emulator. The emulation part involves latency, especially when it comes to delivering signal to hardware.
    So music makers will have to stick with a native Windows partition :(

  • Even if wine were 100% complete today, and every program worked on Linux that does on Windows, it would not make Linux a viable desktop OS. For one thing, all applications would still "feel" like Windows applications because they were not designed for Linux. Secondly, Linux still needs more work done in the user interface department if it expects to compete with Windows. Linux also needs commercial software ported over to Linux. There is a big difference in running win32 api's in Linux and running a ported application, for an example of this, look at Office X. Then and only then will Linux become a mainsteam desktop operating system.
    • Here's an analogy that you might find useful.

      I had to repaint a few rooms the other day. At first glance, there were only a few spots and since I had the right paint I preped and painted just those areas. When the paint dried, those places were perfect.

      Yet, dents and other spots that I didn't notice at all started to become obvious. So, I preped and painted those new areas. Guess what happened when the paint dried? :(

      While I generally agree with what you's way too dire. The time to move is when it's practical, not when every little defect has been addressed.

      We should take a page from Microsoft's handbook and accept 80% long as the remaining 20% isn't honestly critical for the tasks at hand.

      In most cases, I've heard unknowledgeabe gripes about non-Windows environments even from those who are technically wizards under other forms of Unix. The same picking of nits about Mozilla still occurs -- even now that Mozilla rocks and has for a few months.

      Reminds me of my nieces refusing to eat sushi because they think they know what it tastes like.

  • Solves Loki problem (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kaltan ( 133872 ) on Saturday January 26, 2002 @06:36AM (#2905889) Homepage
    Would people be willing to pay for this ? I think so. A goot working WINE would solve problems of 6 months late game ports. They are porting DirectX 8 [] and so on too. So this anticipates new releases. The version 1.0 claims also to solve some program installer problems.

    THE absolute advantage for game developers are the WINElets which they are working on here []. It will make rewriting game code unnessecary and, remember, WINE Is Not an Emulator, so i don't really expect speed issues in the future !

  • Hear me out here. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Martigan80 ( 305400 ) on Saturday January 26, 2002 @06:59AM (#2905924) Journal
    So accourding to the article:

    " WINE does not yet support applications that use Windows XP-only features such as .NET. White thinks that as XP-only applications start to appear, WINE will have to accommodate them, but he doesn't see this as a major issue yet, since those applications are few.

    This is not a calling of doom for windows users that want to convert_because_a lot of windows users don't want to buy the newest version of windows, even future Service Packs. Especialy small buisnesses because they have to focus their resources on growth and survival. So since M$ has announced that it will stop supporting Win98X in 2003, this might be the window of oppertunity to switch them over to a more sensable alternative.
    • since M$ has announced that it will stop supporting Win98X in 2003, this might be the window of oppertunity to switch them over to a more sensable alternative.

      Exactly. Mozilla and Open Office will be stable and mature by then, and the Gnome 2 and KDE 3 platforms will also be stabilized and (hopefully) ready for Joe Sixpack use. I don't know about KDE 3, so I won't comment either way, but the developments for Gnome 2 are REALLY exciting. Every day I see some really huge improvements over not just the current Gnome, but over the way that Other OS does things. The attention paid to usability (but not forgetting flexability!) is truly impressive. I will be very curious to see how newbies take to Gnome 2 as opposed to say WinXP - both are rather new and foreign, but who's got the easier-to-pick-up-and-run-with desktop environment? I think Gnome may give XP a run for it's money, especially considering that while XP is certainly a lot more *stable* than previous Windows versions, have you checked out it's start menu or control panel? They're visually very "busy" and rather confusing, IMHO. They were MUCH better off before with Windows 9x/2000 style...

      Only time shall tell! In the meantime, kudos to both KDE and Gnome teams - we'll have our Windows-killer yet!
  • Until you can install Linux on 99% of the desktops and laptops out there and not have to spend a week getting your network card, sound, and video configured properly, Windows is still going to be the OS of choice for most people... even if you have a way to run all their favorite Win32 apps.

    I've been a Unix admin for 12 years now and it still takes me some time getting Linux up and running... which honestly is the last thing I want to do when I get home from a day of solving Unix problems. You're not going to be able to tell Grandma that in order for her sound card to work properly, she'll have to recompile the kernel.

    Yes, I'd like to see more people using Linux. It would be great to take some of the wind out of Microsoft's sails. Windows does have a history of being buggy and unstable.. but they are getting better with the likes of Win2K and unless Linux developers concentrate on getting an install package that configures everything right the first time, the window of opportunity for taking over the Windows market share will be lost.
    • Quite true, but if we look at the total population of computer users, how many of them actually install their own OS? 90-95% of computers are purchased from large computer corporations, with pre-installed OS's. Even in a corporate environment, the people installing OS's are the IT Dept. Installation is not the key aspect of the success of Linux, rather than compatibility and ease of use.
    • by rjh ( 40933 )
      You've been a UNIX admin for twelve years and it still takes you time to get Linux up and running?

      Buddy, ever since Red Hat 6.0, I have yet to see any piece of reasonable hardware (i.e., hardware you might reasonably see in a consumer box) fail to be autodetected. X could still be a pain in the 6.x series, but in 7.2 configuring it was sweet and simple.

      If you've been a UNIX admin for twelve years, and it takes you a week to get your network card, sound and video configured properly, you're either using an Yggdrasil CDROM from '95 or else your sound card consists of a telephone transceiver soldered into LPT1 and controlled via smoke signals.
    • Until you can install Linux on 99% of the desktops and laptops out there and not have to spend a week getting your network card, sound, and video configured properly, Windows is still going to be the OS of choice for most people.

      It's actually more difficult and time-consuming to install Windows than Linux.

      What will make the difference is when Linux comes pre-installed like Windows does.
    • 99% of the computer users out there could not install Windows, either. The reason they can use it at all was that it was installed when they bought the machine.

      Unfortunately this is an aspect of MicroSoft's monopoly. They do not allow OEM's to build machines with multiple systems installed, and there is little to no market for the common user for Linux-only. If MicroSoft allowed this Linux may be a common option (especially if they provide an easy way to wipe it and use the disk space for Windows). Much more likely if MicroSoft had allowed this there would be a popular closed-source "game" system from another manufacturer and all systems would dual-boot to this.

  • It's funny how the same users that say why would I switch from Windows to Linux are the same users who complain about crashes and high pricing of Windows apps.

    The licensing schemes for Windows for the home user are the least of peoples problems with cost. Office costs far more to license than Windows itself, as does Adobe Photoshop(over 700$).

    We have to remember that Wine although a great project and very interesting, will generate more sales for the same companies that overcharge to the extreme for products that would be considered a minor revision upgrade under Linux

    I personally feel securing and improving Linux native applications and breaking the corporate grip on the minds of average computer users (aka "I have to have Office 2010 to get any work done!") is far more important to real independence and change.

    • I personally feel securing and improving Linux native applications and breaking the corporate grip on the minds of average computer users (aka "I have to have Office 2010 to get any work done!") is far more important to real independence and change.

      It is often quite hard to break consumers from that mentality. Part of the issue is that with every "update" to Office, there are very small incompatibility issues (such as bullets, smart quote, etc). If you're in a corporate environment and someone sends you a Word doc in Office 2010 and you can't open it, it could potentially cost you a client. Secondly, it's pretty much the same thing with game consoles. Game console owners must have and must get the latest and newest.
  • by nocent ( 71113 ) on Saturday January 26, 2002 @11:20AM (#2906496)
    from the article:
    WINE is, in theory, capable of running any application written for Windows 98/Me

    To quote Homer Simpson:
    Sure, in theeoory. In theory communism works... In theory.

  • Responding to Steve Wasko's (Microsoft) comments about no threat from WINE/Linux.

    ..., Lebor said. "I also find it intriguing that Microsoft has a Linux Competitive Manager if they don't see Linux as competition."
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Although I'm a windows user, and struggling to get into Linux, here's a spot that no one else seems to have talked of: Vertical applications.

    Although I'd love to have Linux as my main OS, I'd still have to duel boot to use some propritory, vertical applications such as apprasial software. They don't make this for linux, and chances are they won't ever unless Windows and MS was to dissipear.

    But the same software out of that buggy, crash happy, insecure, and system hogging Windows, into a stable, secure linux. Now your talking! I'd leave windows in a millisecond if I could get all of them working.

    That's why, those who said 'If you want windows programs, then why use linux' (or stick with windows, etc.) why I'm supporting Lindows, and WINE so strongly. If I *have* to use those programs, then I want a choice of what OS they run under! I want a stable, secure, lean OS. Is that too much to ask?

    Now if they can work out an easy to install/upgrade way for KDE, AND WINE then I'll consider these two options :). Comeon Lindows!

    Shaddock Delaforge (
  • I first discovered the WINE project back in 1994. I was using the Slackware distro which I painfully downloaded and installed from boxes and boxes of floppies. I was excited! Hardly anything ran on it but the idea of running Linux and being able to use all of the programs that were coming out on a relatively new OS called Windows really got my blood pumping. OK, I could wait a few months for it to come out of beta.... One year later.... OK Wine wasn't there yet but hey, Microcrap came out with Windows 95 which meant that the project got more complex and they were making progress weren't they?... Two years later... It runs Mine Sweep.... I guess they're making progress... Three years... Four years... Five... Six... Still in beta... So soon 1.0 will be out. I guess that means that it won't be in beta any more.... But didn't I hear that more programs fail to run than run? I'm not trying to blame anyone. Writing a compatibility layer for a closed source OS is no easy task even if the company who controls that OS plays fair. Microsoft doesn't play fair and it isn't a difficult task to "tweak" things here and there to keep WINE incompatible with the newest software. With this approach we will always be playing catch up. There are many challenges ahead if we want Linux to become an OS that is widely supported by major software companies. The prevailing Linux community attitude that all software must be free is a major block. We are in a sort of catch 22. To be well supported by major software companies they need to be able to make money selling software to the Linux community. This means that 1. That community needs to be large enough to make it worth while and 2. That community needs to be WILLING TO PAY for the hard work that these companies do for us. Where the catch 22 comes in is that we don't have the "critical mass" needed and we never will have unless we have some way to entice people to start using Linux. I.E. More software that they want to use. No commercial support = not enough users to warrant commercial support. On the surface it seems that WINE could be an answer but in the many years that I've been watching it, it hasn't delivered. Maybe the "WINElet" strategy will work... Oh, but then there's that Linux community "I WON't PAY" mentality to deal with, isn't there? I'm ranting now so I'll go away...

A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on. -- Samuel Goldwyn