Years ago, CodeWeavers launched a product titled “Wine” to aid Mac and Linux users who were frustrated by the absence of crucial software and tools which were exclusively available on Microsoft’s Windows. Wine is still working and essentially allows running Windows-limited applications on other platforms. However, the company has returned with yet another release and this time, they’re attempting to achieve something that most of us couldn’t even think of – bringing Windows desktop tools to Chromebooks and Intel-based Android devices through a new product called “CrossOver”.
CrossOver is merely a reformed and less powerful extension of Wine that allows users to run Windows programs on Chromebooks and x86 Android devices, basically, handhelds functioning on an Intel processor. Therefore, you can’t use it on the Nexus 9 or Pixel C. After three years of development and reboots, the application is finally in early beta and is taking registrations for access. However, there are a couple of caveats and limitations to it mostly because Android doesn’t really support freeform windows yet. Hence, you can’t work on multiple windows at the same time like a regular desktop, CrossOver will launch Windows titles only in one virtual space.
Additionally, it currently supports a confined number of applications due to some missing components and resources like OpenGL on Android. The team also mentions that the product is not yet ready entirely and will encounter crashes and bugs once in awhile. Codeweavers uploaded a demo video (attached below) that showcases running Steam which is a popular destination for games on Windows.
Given Wine’s stupendous capabilities, I’m sure it won’t take a long time before they improve and add more software tools. This is a major breakthrough especially for the progress of Chromebooks which are primarily avoided because of their limitations when compared to other operating systems. For getting an early hands on Crossover, head over to this link and register yourself by providing name and email address which is linked to the play store.