In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice, we all know better. When one tries to apply a theory, anything that can go wrong, will. Last week I presented Wine. This tool/compatibility layer ensures that Windows applications will run smoothly under UNIX-based operating systems. That's the theory; today we'll see how much difference there is between theory and practice.
While I presented Wine, I told you that the tool is still far from complete. Its developers still struggle to support the entire Windows API. The eventual goal is to have all applications run smoothly under Wine. Understandably, this goal takes priority over making the tool more user friendly. You cannot share something with the world until you have something to share.
However, considering that Microsoft is constantly expanding its operating system, and in the last few years a 64-bit version of Windows has burst on the scene, it's wise to ask whether the team can keep up. They say that this is possible, and that currently, the vast majority of applications are not built for 64-bit Windows.
That may be true for now. Nevertheless, we will see how the situation evolves in a couple of years. For now we want the applications we currently have (designed for the 32 bit OSes). Luckily for us, some third party applications already fill this void left (for now) by the developing team.
These will automatically make changes that we would otherwise need to make manually by editing text files and using the terminal. With the help of these programs, we can simply push a couple of buttons with the mouse and start up that program you miss under Linux.
I will kick off by presenting this tools. Next, I will present a couple of applications that are highly popular under Windows and, according to many people, do not have worthy competition under Linux. I am talking about Office 2007, KMPlayer, Foxit Reader and Utorrent. Finally, I will conclude this article by considering whether it is worth going through this process.