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Standing for 'Wine Is Not an Emulator, the Wine ABI translator takes windows library calls, and converts them to equivalent calls to the underlying operating system, letting you run Windows programs on non-Windows operating systems.

Wine has a long history. In September 1992, Sun bought Praxsys Technologies, leading them to develope 'Wabi', the first Windows ABI translator. When they revealed it at the Solaris Developers Conference in 1993 it was revolutionary in a number of ways, allowing some programs to run faster than in windows.

Prior to this, any method of running windows programs on non-windows systems needed a full copy of windows running in an emulator, which usually doubles the amount of memory needed, and is also very slow. Another issue is that you need to pay for a windows license in addition to the one for the underlying operating system.

Because the sun Wabi software was proprietary, a bunch of people decided to create an Open Source version in June 1993.

Some people are trying to get Wine running on Cygwin, which would provide better support for older apps than current versions of windows provide. Others are trying to get cygwin running on wine, which would make cygwin a great test suite for wine.

Another thing happening is the increased sharing of code between Wine and the Microsoft Windows workalike ReactOS. There is also some sharing of code with the Samba project.

See also the History of Wine page at the wine project.

You can also Donate to Wine Here.