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IBM developerWorks: Running Windows applications cheaply under Linux with Win4Lin

Mar 17, 2001, 17:00 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Grant Williamson)

[ Thanks to Frank for this link. ]

"Whether you love it or hate it, Microsoft Windows is here to stay. That is, until more companies are willing to develop their client applications for Linux. Currently, it is impossible for me to avoid using Windows. However, I believe it is beneficial to embrace many different operating systems as each has its own advantages and disadvantages. I needed a product which allowed me to use Linux at work, and still run all the necessary Win9x applications. I came across Merge, a product which has existed for many years, and has recently seen new light under the name of Win4Lin. It is produced and packaged by a company called Trelos and at $50 a license, I have not regretted my decision to use this product."

"I must begin by pointing out that Win4Lin does not support Windows NT/2000. Win4Lin allows the installation of a licensed copy of Windows9x inside a Virtual PC, using the native Linux file system. Within this Virtual Win9x, I can install all the software I need, i.e. Lotus Notes R5.03, Smartsuite 9.5, and many other applications and utilities."

"However, limitations do exist. Win4Lin only supports a real basic pseudo Winsocks 1.1. However, according to Trelos, this will be improved in future releases. Some applications, such as the instant messaging service, Lotus Sametime Connect, cannot run. On several occasions, my Lotus Freelance application crashed. In addition, it is impossible to browse drives from the Win9x shell, although this is not important when Linux can do that. (You can always create a symlink from your Linux box so that Windows can see it)."

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