Google Windows Apps Coming to Linux

More on a topic I've covered before. It seems that Picasa may soon be coming to Linux. This won't be a native port, but rather is being done via a CodeWeaver's middleware layer. This means you probably won't need a wine or CrossOver install, but that Picasa will be compiled against winelib (possibly a custom version). The article is a little light on details, so for now I'm speculating a bit. This is Google's first attempt at something like this, so they appear to be taking the path of least resistance. Realistically, for an app like Picasa which was done Windows only, a port is analogous to a rewrite. With Google leading the way, is this the beginning of a slew of closed source Windows apps running via middleware (as opposed to real ports)? We'll have to see, but my guess is that if this works out for Google, other companies will follow. This clearly has two sides to it. On the plus side, we may get some badly needed apps running on Linux without the trouble of Wine or overhead of VMware. On the flip side, is a middleware layer that is tied to the Win32 API really the way we want to get there? Also of note, the article mentions that a native Linux version of Google Talk should be coming soon, which is probably why Google hired Sean Egan a couple months back.
–jeremy
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