Wine allows you to run programs made for Windows on the Linux operating system, being an alternative to using a virtual machine or using both systems on different partitions of the hard disk. Wine has the advantage of achieving better performance than with an emulator, and also does not require the installation of Windows, therefore does not require the purchase of a license.
The goal of the Wine project is to run as many programs and games as possible to run on Windows, which do not have versions for Ubuntu or some other Linux distribution installed on the PC, although there are still many Applications that are not supported.
To install an application through Wine you must have the ISO image or the executable (.EXE) of the software or game that you want to run on Linux; From the Wine configuration panel you must select one of the options listed in "version to imitate" (either Windows XP, Vista, 7 and even previous editions), and then you must go to install the program or the game as is Is done in Windows.
In many cases it will require libraries (DLLs) or some APIs, such as DirectX, to work correctly for Windows programs. Wine includes a tool called Winetricks that helps you locate and load files as needed.
The user can consult for his favorite programs in an ample database that is listed in the following page, and will be able to search to that base. Each item has associated a rating that indicates how reliable the application has been according to the behavior and number of errors encountered during the tests performed by other users. The ranking ranges from Platinum (optimal performance) to Garbage (presents many difficulties) through Gold, Silver and Bronze.
In the official page of the project you can consult the help available so that you can install and configure Wine properly. In Youtube you can find a lot of videos that show how to use Wine, with particular examples of certain software, for example, how to install Office in Ubuntu, how to install Ares in Ubuntu, etc.
Wine 1.9.9 is the latest stable version (updated April 2016). It works with the following distributions: Ubuntu, Debian, Suse, Slackware, FreeBSD, PC-BSD, Solaris, OpenSolaris and Maemo. An edition is added to run Windows programs on Mac OS X.