Windows apps running on Linux? That at least is the claim of a company based in The Philippines which says it has software to do just that. If true, and if performance doesn't slump, it could be a major shot in the arm for desktop Linux PCs.

Codenamed "David", Manila-based SpecOps Labs says it will unveil a working model of its middleware this weekand adds that it could be commercially available before the end of this year.

SpecOps Labs - formerly Softlabs - began the ambitious project last year knowing it would eventually put them directly against Microsoft - hence the Biblical project reference (Goliath, stone, sling etc).

"David will break the bonds of the giant Windows software and forever change the way the world computes," said SpecOps chief exec Fredrick Lewis, who may live to regret such brave words.

Lewis believes that the cost of purchasing PCs will decline once "David" becomes widespread and OEMs begin preloading his company's software so that the free LinuxOS can seamlessly run Microsoft programs. The company says it has projected revenues of $35 million in two years, from OEMs and "white-box builders" - the small resellers or distributors that assemble and sell personal computers without major brand names.

According to SpecOps' website:

  • "The next generation of David will, in effect, incorporate the operating system into the Web browser, virtually eliminating the need for an operating system eventually, except to boot computer and launch the browser."
  • Just like its namesake, the biblical hero David, SpecOps Labs new David middleware "is expected to level the OS industries playing field worldwide and free all consumers from the bonds of MS Windows - giving them freedom to use OS of their choice."

But it's early days yet, and some scepticism about the claims is already appearing. Nevertheless, it has had top IBM exec Victor Silvino in the Philippines saying that IBM is "keen on supporting SpecOps both from a hardware and software perspective".

Something to watch.