Wine Reaches Beta - After 12 Years

After twelve years of development, the Wine Project announced Tuesday night that its software to run Windows applications within Unix is entering the beta phase. The group acknowledged the program still has bugs, but asked those interested to download and test out the application.

"Wine is available thanks to the work of many people," lead coordinator for the Wine Project Alexandre Julliard wrote to the wine-announce mailing list Tuesday.

The group believes that Wine is what Linux needs in order to become a viable operating system for the masses. No Windows license is needed in order to run Windows applications with Wine. Instead, they run in an emulated shell, meaning Linux users can take advantage of programs from Microsoft Money and Internet Explorer, to popular Windows games like Diablo and Warcraft.

"Wine 0.9 marks the beginning of 'prime time' for Wine," Julliard said. "The application has undergone major redevelopment in recent months, reflecting the work of hundreds of developers around the world. Wine 0.9 is now a stable application with solid support for all Linux kernels."

The new version now has a completed 'winecfg,' which negates the need to create a configuration file in order to use the program. It also adds a full set of DLLs, and has better installer support to ensure programs install more smoothly.

In a related announcement, CrossOver Office 5.0 was released Tuesday as well. The program works with Wine in order to make Windows programs run properly in other operating system environments. The software will for the first time add preliminary support for Microsoft Office 2003.

Jeremy White, CEO of CodeWeavers, the company behind CrossOver Office, had words of praise for the news of Wine entering beta.

"I truly believe that Wine is reaching a critical turning point; the point where we start realizing the dream of having everything 'just work'," he said in a post to the company's announcements mailing list.

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