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Google funds Wine to improve Photoshop use

By   |  February 20, 2008

In an email to the Wine mailing list late last week, Google software engineer Dan Kegel described how Google has been contracting the CodeWeavers Wine team to improve support for PhotoshopCS on Linux and how Google employees are using their free time to fix Wine bugs.

Kegel writes:

“Google uses Wine primarily as the basis for the Linux port of our photo management software, Picasa. In fact, the Linux version is exactly the Windows build of Picasa, bundled with a lightly patched version of Wine. Most of the work in that port was to improve Wine so it could handle Picasa, and that work is still going on. Codeweavers did the initial port, and Googlers Lei Zhang, Nigel Liang, and Michael Moss are improving Wine further for Picasa 2.7.”

In a survey a year ago Photoshop was the application voted to be the most important application to port to Linux. Wine is an emulation application tat allows users to run Windows software on Linux.

“Google also sponsored some work by Codeweavers to improve support for Photoshop (’cause so many people want it) and for Dragon Naturally Speaking (’cause even Linux users get RSI). While not yet perfect, those apps are a lot more usable now as a result. In particular, Photoshop CS and CS2 are quite usable indeed. (See for details.),” Kegel writes.

Kegel also points out that he and other Google employees are using their 20% time to work on and fix Wine bugs. Google famously allows its employees to use 20 percent of their time to work on projects of their own interest.

More details on Google’s work on Wine can be found here.

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8 Responses to “Google funds Wine to improve Photoshop use”

  1. Open Source Depot
    February 20th, 2008 @ 9:57 pm

    Gimp is fine for image editing (although I can see why some would prefer/need photoshop)…what Linux really needs is some quality (and easy to use) video editing software. It’s good to see that google employees are using their spare time to improve Wine.

  2. Mike
    February 20th, 2008 @ 11:45 pm

    It’s good to know that Google is working on Wine. This is one of open source’s biggest breaks and Google is filling that gap.

  3. Nick
    March 25th, 2008 @ 3:13 am

    Why doesn’t Google just fork WINE and create their own variant? They could sell the newest versions for money, which is allowed if they release the source code. I’m sure with Google’s developers working more on it, WINE could become very polished very quickly. It would be a great way to get at Microsoft!

  4. Bryce
    March 25th, 2008 @ 4:12 am

    Wine isn’t an emulator. It is a translation layer. An emulator takes more resources to perform.

  5. Franklyn
    March 26th, 2008 @ 12:48 am

    Wine Is Not an Emulator

  6. Maki
    March 27th, 2008 @ 10:20 pm

    @Nick: why should google make a fork and sell it?
    forks are needed when one need have a different goal than the other. And google likes that wine is better and wine devs like that wine is better. If google likes to sell it they will work with CodeWeavers, wich also sponsors wine and employs wine devs

  7. Chiron613
    March 30th, 2008 @ 6:46 pm

    I’d rather see further development of the GIMP. Making Photoshop run on a Linux box is counterproductive, in my opinion.

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    December 12th, 2008 @ 12:43 pm

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