CrossOver Office: The Killer App for the Linux Desktop?
CrossOver: A Little WINE for the Office
I may spend most of my time writing about or teaching people about Linux, but I haven't been able to escape the Microsoft Windows world and applications. Some of the reasons for this problem are pure selfishness--sometimes I really get into a computer game that doesn't have a Linux version! Another reason, though, has been more frustrating. When I write books or develop courses I often have to use Microsoft Word because of heavy use of macros, templates, and other key customization features.
Sure, some publishers are great about offering workarounds for Linux authors who don't want to work in Windows. However, I have a life, and a lot of the workarounds can eat up significant chunks of time, so I keep a Windows box with Microsoft Office and I have my Linux boxes as well. But ... The times, they are a'changin! CodeWeavers, a heavy supporter of the WINE (a Windows emulator for Unix systems, www.winehq.org) has just released CrossOver Office 1.0.0, a program that has the fantastic ability to allow us to install and run Microsoft Office (and Lotus Notes) applications on our Linux boxes--caveat being that right now only Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook 97 and 2000 are supported, plus Lotus Notes 5. Tired of paying for all those Windows desktop operating system licenses plus the software licenses? You just might want to look into this little beauty.
CrossOver Office 1.0.0 is built specifically for Linux, but not for a particular distribution. The product has been tested on:
- Caldera OpenLinux Workstation 3.1.1
- Debian (no fixed version numbers, but multiple recent versions)
- Mandrake 8.0, 8.1, 8.2
- Red Hat 6.2, 7.2
- SuSE 7.2, 7.3
However, company founder and CEO Jeremy White points out that CrossOver Office 1.0.0 is supported on all Linux distributions, and CodeWeavers' customers "run it on systems all over the map." Keep in mind as well that this product is meant for a workstation environment, as generally it's a bad idea to run intensively GUI applications on a server--not to mention word processors and so on. CrossOver Office 1.0.0 is built for the Intel x86 architecture, with the following hardware requirements specified:
- 200 Mhz or faster
- 2 MB RAM not occupied by anything else
- 16 MB hard drive space
There are also the following software requirements, for the use of those who are not utilizing one of the distribution versions that have been tested:
- glibc 2.1 or higher
- X11R6 3.3 or higher
CrossOver Office 1.0.0