We all know what WINE, Windows Emulator, does for , i.e., allow us to run Windows applications without installing the Window OS. Frankly, I do not know why you still depend on those Windows applications but I do understand that sometimes it is beyond your control (management is to blame, right Dilbert?).
Now, there is Linux version of WINE called "Lina". It allows you to run Linux binaries on any OS without going through the usual task of a full Linux installation. Linuxdevices.com reports on this "Linux VM" and its promises of "write-once, run anywhere" portability.
Like Linuxdevices.com writers Henry Kingman and Chris Preimesberger, I also find this to be rather too ambitious. Why penalize the application by running it over a virtualized environment when most of the time, you only need to re-compile it to run natively on your OS of choice (assuming, of course, that you have a Unix-based OS and forget about Windows!)? Heck, Solaris already runs Linux binaries natively, what is preventing the open source community to simply port this to their favorite OS?
In addition, I am also bothered a bit by this comment –
Geisinger added, "One of the reasons Java ran into problems [delivering the "write once, run anywhere" promise] was because of cracks in the API and [they didn't use an open source license]. The great thing about the open source community is that they care about the cracks, and will fix them, or at least complain. We're looking forward to those complaints."
Being a Java Champion, I feel the need to comment. :) With Java released as open source, I wonder what Mr. Geisinger will say about it. And oh, the problem is not with the API but with the VM implementations on different platforms!