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January 25, 2017

Don’t want Windows 10 on your Mac but need Microsoft Office? Wine 2.0 is the answer

Windows on Linux moves forward a step with a release packed full of 6,600 changes.

By James Nunns

After a year of development, Wine 2.0 is finally available to make Windows apps run on Linux.

The open source project, which works by running the Windows API on top of the Unix/Linux operating system, allows users to run Windows applications on BSD Linux, desktop Linux, and Macs, all by translating Windows API calls into Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX) calls on-the-fly.

What this means is that Linux users don’t have to run a full windows operating system, instead users can do things like run Microsoft Office 2013, which the developers highlighted as one of the main highlights along with 64-bit support on macOS.

These upgrades are included among 6,600 other individual changes that come as part of the first release made on the new time-based, annual release schedule. That means that some features are being worked on but couldn’t be finished in time, so expect them in the next development cycle. 

Further features in the pipeline will include things like Direct3D command stream, the full HID support, the Android graphics driver, and message-mode pipes.

Clearly, 6,600 new individual changes is too many to run through but some of the highlights include JSON now being supported, while the ‘winebrowser’ helper application is now capable of supporting multiple arguments to invoke the host browser or mailer.

Graphic improvements have been made to support higher-resolutions displays and the kernel now has a new driver architecture.

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For any Linux user that needs to run something like Office 2013 instead of LibreOffice, this is a handy tool to have.

Wine has been in this field for a while, it took them 15 years to get to version 1.0, which was released in 2008, and Wine 2.0 took a full year of development to get to the stable release.

Full documentation, binary packages from various distributions and the source links can be found here.

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