I'm no fan of Wine, but I would expect it to work.
Better, if you have a windows license, use virtualbox. that way you are actually running windows so there's no compatibility issues.
I need to run some proprietary windows programs and I'm using virtualbox rather than wine.
Thanks. That might be a way forward for me.
I have legal copies of Windows for all my computers but they are the OEM ones that state they can only be installed on the machine they were sold with. If I install it into VirtualBox will Microsoft reject my copy? Do I need to buy a full version of Windows (i.e. non-OEM)?
It should work, whether it's legal or not, I have no idea.
OEM versions of Windows are supposed to be installed with the hardware they were sold with. A virtual machine, even if used in the same hardware, is technically a different machine and would violate the EULA. Also, you may have difficulty getting Windows Genuine Advantage to recognize your install. I've heard of problems in the past depending on the version of Windows and the virtualization software used.
Another problem, I would have thought, was in the regular Windows Update. I believe some versions of Windows will not update if they are not on a registered (with MS) machine. How would that work with the underlying OS being linux? Without a regular update the OS installation would surely be compromised in a very short time.
I have almost avoided using Windows over the past three years. Exceptions have been a couple of genealogy programs, which I now have running under WINE on a Ubuntu laptop, and MS Access - ditto.
Today I discovered one snag: historically I've used Corel Photopaint to create web site images, keeping the masters in native Corel format. Had to revert to a proper Windows machine today in order to modify an image created five years ago. Maybe Corel would run under Wine: I don't know.
I am reluctant to run a "real" copy of Windows Anything on my linux machines. If worst came to, I would try WINE first.
I will echo Wheels advise here. If you have the hardware to support it and a license for Windows I would use virtualbox as well.
It just works better, however I would expect Wine to work as well.
Unsolicited advise warning:
Check out Linux Mint, you can try it first without installing it by burning it to a disk and then booting from the disk. If you like you can install with the same disk but the real joy of it is being able to run it without installing it.
I have managed to get VirtualBox on Windows and installed a few bits and pieces. Ubuntu (awful unusable interface) and Mint (much better). I might try Fedora before deciding.
Anyway, I have managed to get Apache and Perl working (and converted the files since the line feeds are different in Unix and Windows).
Also have got AdWords Editor working too, but AdCenter needs .NET and that won't install.
Still feel out of my depth with it. For example I can't work out how to move the default directory for where Apache ties 'localhost' to. Also I can't work out how to stop the Apache service or restart it.
The best way to stop and start Apache is from the command line:
There is also an application for Ubuntu called Boot Up Manager, tastefully shortened to BUM, which gives you a GUI for it.
You might be able to get software that uses .NET to run on Mono. I have no idea what mono will work for or not work for.
Personally, I think Virtualbox is the best solution. If you use it just for that the chances of it being compromised are slight, and you can always revert a virtualbox to a saved state.
As for the legal aspect, it depends on whether the click-though licences are legally enforceable in the jurisdiction you live in. I also think the enforceability of new MS licences (refund only if you return the hardware as well) is likely to be less than the old (refund if you refuse the license). If it worries you, ask a lawyer.