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New Software Would Let Windows Programs Run On Linux

SpecOps Labs in the Phillippines says the software will help millions of users migrate from Windows machines to the free Linux platform.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- A Philippine-based company unveiled software Thursday that would allow Windows-based programs to run on computers using the rival Linux operating system.

Peter Valdes, chief technology officer of SpecOps Labs Inc., said his company's software will help millions of users migrate from Windows machines to the free and open-source Linux platform.

"After you install the bridge software ... it is as if you have a Windows OS (operating system) on your desktop," he said.

Valdes noted that one big obstacle to propagating the use of Linux is the massive expense required to retrain users of Windows applications.

Several other companies have developed software that combines Linux's underpinnings with a Windows-like interface, but they generally cannot run programs written for Windows.

Previous attempts to run Windows word processors, spreadsheets, and other applications smoothly on Linux machines have been largely unsuccessful and cumbersome, Valdes said.

Asked to comment on SpecOps' new software, Microsoft Philippines spokeswoman Mae Rivera told Dow Jones Newswires: "We know very little about it. We can only give our comment when we know more about that software."

SpecOps said the 80-megabyte program will be available commercially by the end of the year at a still-undetermined price. It said it expects to sell more than 30,000 copies of the program and generate about $1 million in gross revenues in the first year.

Since the first Linux was created in 1991 by Linus Torvalds of Finland, its code has been made available for free, provided improvements also are shared freely.

Microsoft and other proprietary software vendors keep their source code protected by patents.