Last week, Codeweavers, a company that aims to see Windows-based software running on both Mac OS X and Linux, decided to give away all their software since gas prices plummeted (or something), and not one to sit on the sidelines, I decided to put my name in for a code and finally give their solutions a try.
All of Codeweavers’ products utilize Wine at their base to enable the emulation, but they have various enhancements that allow easier installation and compatibility. In my short time with both Crossover Games and Crossover Linux, I am pleased overall, although I have a lot more testing to take care of before I can realistically conclude on how much of a lifesaver they are, since most applications they support are known to run in standard Wine with some tweaking.
One application in particular that I’ve never been able to see running under Wine can be seen in the below image. Whenever I’ve tried to install Office 2007 in the past, with a standard Wine install, the setup process would error out before it could finish. Not here, and as you can see, both Excel and Word look great.
I actually have to admit that Office 2007 works a lot better than I expected it to. Over the course of a half-hour, the application didn’t hang up once, or ever felt unstable. I even ran a 70MB file through Excel and it kept on truckin’. I’m rather impressed. Sadly, there’s one slight issue that will still force me into rebooting into Windows: fonts. Yes, the font-rendering is not perfect, and to me, that matters (especially when the graphs are used directly in our reviews!).
I’ll be giving Crossover Games and Linux a more thorough look over the course of the next week and will report new findings when I have something useful to say.
CodeWeavers is the leading corporate backer of the Wine Project. Wine is an open source software initiative that is systematically re-implementing the Win32 API under Unix. Wine makes it possible for PCs running Unix-based operating systems (like OS X and Linux) to run Windows application as if natively.