Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 5th May 2009 22:04 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Many Linux users have experience with Wine, the application compatibility layer which allows some Windows programs to run on UNIX-like machines. During Ubuntu's Open Week event, Mark Shuttleworth was asked about Wine, and how important he believes it is for the success of Ubuntu.
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One of the most important programs
by Schendstok on Tue 5th May 2009 22:54 UTC
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Wine is essential to the succes of Linux on the mainstream desktop. All the cross platform programs (firefox, VLC etc. etc.) and Wine make the transition easier for new users.

People use applications far more than "the operation system", at least in the eyes of average computer users.

Changing habits that currently "work well" is very dificult, so if people can use all the application they already know well, the change is much more incrementally.
Linux has a lot positive things that Windows doesn't (even if users only use crossplatform or wine apps). For example the centralised software updating system and the large repositories of software, that makes finding and updating software very easy.
Most windows users really don't get all the software updating programs on Windows (Microsoft, java, adobe, apple, virus scanner etc.etc.), and just click any warnings away, leaving the system out-of-date.

Wine is currently becoming very good. A lot of programs and games are working perfectly already, they made HUGE compatibility improvements in the last year, and the speed it improves is amazing in my opinion.
Compatibility and the ease of use aren't there yet for normal "click and run" use by average users, but they are quickly getting there.

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