If you have ever used Linux, Mac, or another *nix operating system, you've probably heard of Wine. No, not the beverage - it's software that allows Windows programs to run on platforms that aren't Windows. Wine is one of my favorite open-source projects, under development since 1993 and having a massive community of developers and testers. Wine also maintains a database of compatible programs, which should give you an idea of the impressive compatibility.

CrossOver is essentially a commercial version of Wine, offering technical support and easier configuration of programs. Almost three years after development started on CrossOver for Android, CodeWeavers (the company responsible for CrossOver) is finally sharing a working preview on Google Play.

It appears that the Android version is using Wine's Virtual Desktop feature, which contains the various open windows into one virtual screen. CrossOver and Wine both run Windows programs alongside native applications on desktop operating systems, but I suspect with the slow progress of Freeform Multi-window on Android, something like that won't happen for a while (if ever).

Another major limitation is that CrossOver only works on Intel-based Android devices and Chromebooks. This is a limitation of Wine and CrossOver itself, without some form of binary emulation (which would seriously hurt performance), don't count on your Nexus 9 to be running Windows programs. Intel Android tablets unfortunately are not too common, but if you have a Chromebook with the Play Store, you can run it there as well.

We have reached out to CodeWeavers for access to the beta program, and I personally cannot wait to try it myself. In the meantime, you can visit the source link below to join the beta program yourself.