Winulator lets classic Windows games, apps run on Android (video)

You know how people are always saying today’s smartphones have more processing power than the computers that sent the first rockets to the moon? Well, not only is that true, but odds are your smartphone is faster than the desktop PC you were using in the early 90s. So why can’t you run some 90s-era Windows apps and games on your phone?

Soon you may be able to.


A tool called Winulator is under development, which makes it possible to run some Windows 95 or Windows 98 games on an Android device.

Winulator isn’t available to the public yet, but the developer has posted a demo video. At this point sound doesn’t work yet and not all older games are supported. But Winulator is still under development.

There’s a desktop utility which converts some of the machine code to run on an ARM-based processor instead of an x86 chip before you can run a Windows app on Android. Another approach would be to use a just-in-time compiler, something the developer is apparently also looking into.

The advantage of converting the code first is that it doesn’t tie up resources on your phone or tablet when you’re actually trying to use the app.

There are already plenty of apps that let you emulate a DOS environment to run classic PC apps on an Android device. Some folks have even managed to use them to install early versions of Windows on an Android phone or tablet. But Winulator looks like a promising tool that could eventually let you run classic Windows 95 or Windows 98 games on Android devices with reasonably performance.

Eventually the developer plans to release free and paid versions of Winulator into the Google Play Store.

via Hacker News

  • Renee Auclair

    The big use for this is not in games, but in legacy Windows programs in general. Android might have a wealth of apps, but they’re apps, not programs. Get at least Office 97 to run on Android and now you’re talking.

  • rsanchez1

    I wonder how many games on GOG.com will run on this.

  • zdanee

    Photoshop CS2 on a tablet? Yes please!

  • ARXD

    Office 97? Yes please!!