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CrossOver Office's Microsoft Office Support is Not a Problem

CodeWeavers Supports When Microsoft Won't

  • May 15, 2003
  • By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

CodeWeavers' CrossOver Office 2.0 now enables Linux users to run Microsoft Office from 97 to XP and Visio on most Linux distributions. Just don't expect Microsoft to help you though if you run into trouble. CodeWeavers, on the other hand, will be more than happy to help.

As reported in an article in ZDNet Australia, Tony Wilkinson, product manager for Office at Microsoft Australia, said that Microsoft would only help "customers running Office XP on Linux platforms using intermediary software if they can prove that the glitches they experience occur on the Windows platform as well."

Jeremy White, founder and CEO of CodeWeavers, doesn't have a problem with that. "While I don't expect Microsoft to repeat that comment, it's not an unsupportable position," White said.

And, indeed, Microsoft would neither confirm nor deny the statement as a matter of support policy when called about the matter.

White goes on to say that, "they don't test on Linux, and nine times out of ten, if you have a problem with Office on CrossOver, it will be our fault and we'll address it. If it's an Office problem, we'll point you to the appropriate spot on Microsoft's support sites to fix it."

As for their own support CodeWeavers provides 6 months of free support and updates with any individual CrossOver license. Volume license customers receive 12 months of higher priority support. Most support is delivered via e-mail and the Web site, but the company also has an IRC room for online problem solving.

However, unlike most companies, you can actually track your CrossOver trouble ticket at the support Web site. Want to know who's working on your problem and to talk to him? With CodeWeavers, you can do that.

White, though, is not too sure that Office support is that a big deal anyway. He asks, "How many people really need Microsoft Office support? This is absolutely a red herring, and was meant to keep the perception going that this (running Office on CrossOver) is a risky thing to do. It's not."

Speaking frankly, White said, "CrossOver supports a very limited and focused range of applications. More often than not, if you try to install some Windows application we haven't tested and approved, it will fail. Our criterion for program success is that if regular users are using a program on a regular basis and it's working right then we'll say it works right."

White also adds that CodeWeavers has "bitten off a big challenge, we support every Linux distribution. So we really don't have a recommended distribution. We partner with Xandros and SuSE so we know them best. A newbie should have success with any of the major Linux distributions."

When pressed to ask if there are any distributions that CrossOver has found trouble some, White admitted that, "LindowsOS has been a little troublesome."

If a user really has trouble with CrossOver and can't get it to work, White says, "If you decide to purchase CrossOver Office and feel that you did not receive a fair value, we will refund your money, no questions asked."

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