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CrossOver Office: Cutting to the Quicken - page 2

Mixing Windows, Linux, and Metaphors

  • August 29, 2002
  • By Brian Proffitt

Just to make sure we're all up to speed, CrossOver is not much more than a very organized form of WINE, the open-source Windows emulator that Linux users have been using for quite some time. What Codeweavers has done is take WINE and reshape it into an application that, instead of trying to be something for everyone, tries to be everything for a select few programs.

The approach, which on the surface seems a bit tentative, has actually paid off rather well. Even before this version of CrossOver Office was released, it could already support applications in Microsoft Office, followed soon after by support for Visio.

Codeweavers' selective approach is, thus far, a good one. By avoiding the "Jack of all trades, master of none" scenario, the CrossOver product actually does live up to most of its claims.

Some would (and have) argued that a product such as CrossOver Office is a bit of a sell-out--Microsoft is gaining from the continued use of their product line. Ultimately, they argue, Linux application development suffers because the demand for comparable Linux apps decreases. That may very well be--in the short term. But in the long-term, I think of products such as CrossOver and NeTraverse's Win4Lin and Transgaming's WineX as transitional bandages that have one ultimate goal: get as many users over to Linux as is possible.

Once the user base for the platform grows, it is only a matter of time before that influx of new revenue will be devoted to the building and improvement of the native Linux apps that we know must eventually be built.

So much for my theories, let's take a look at the product.

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