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Wine 1.5.14 Brings Optimizations and Fixes for many Windows Games

In a recent development release 1.5.14, Wine has announced a number of new features. Wine is a popular application for Linux, which provides a Windows compatibility layer. It has been used to run games, applications, and a number of tools which are unique to Windows. In a survey conducted in 2007, over 30% of Linux users were found using Wine for running Windows applications.

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Wine is a compatibility layer. It duplicates functions of Windows by providing alternative implementations of the DLLs that Windows programs call, and a process to substitute for the Windows NT kernel. This method of duplication differs from other methods that might also be considered emulation, where Windows programs run in a virtual machine. Wine is predominantly written using black-box testing reverse-engineering, to avoid copyright issues.

The latest development version has brought improved GIF support, JavaScript optimizations and URL caching. However, the two most notable changes are improvements in the shader compiler, and bug fixes for many Windows games. The Wine shader compiler is an emulation of the Direct 3D compiler (d3dcompiler) from DirectX. This ensures better DirectX performance in Wine, especially for video playback. Apart from this, there are numerous bug-fixes for games like Alan Wake, StarCraft and Oblivion. A Teamviewer crash issue has been fixed and the installer for Opera 12 does not crash anymore.

Valve recently announced a native Steam client for Linux and a native port of Left4Dead 2. As Valve releases more native ports, Wine will see a sharp decline in usage as most Wine users use it solely to run Windows games.

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Chinmoy Kanjilal

Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. He rants occasionally at Techarraz.com. You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.