CrossOver Office 5.0

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Those who need to run legacy Windows applications on Linux should consider CrossOver Office 5.0.

CodeWeavers' CrossOver Office 5.0 is a commercial application based on Wine that allows you to run many popular Microsoft Windows-based office and productivity applications under Linux, as well as a few multimedia and Internet applications. For those who are tied to Microsoft Office in particular, it can provide a means to migrate to Linux.

Supported applications include:

  • Acrobat Reader 5

  • FrameMaker 7.1

  • Photoshop 6 and 7

  • DreamWeaver MX

  • Endnote 8

  • Flash MX

  • iTunes

  • Lotus Notes 5 and 6.5.1

  • Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack1

  • MS Office 97/2000/XP/2003

  • MS Project

  • MS Visio

  • QuickBooks

  • Quicken

  • QuickTime

  • Various MS Office document viewers

For people researching CrossOver Office with a mind to deploying the product in their workplace or as a single-user home installation, the CodeWeavers' Web site is an excellent resource (www.codeweavers.com). Clear and well-written information is grouped in a logical manner. Case studies illustrate how effectively the product copes in real-world situations, and questions about Microsoft licensing are addressed.

CodeWeavers offers a time-limited demonstration version of its products. For 30 days, you can try the full capabilities of the product without being limited in functionality. This is an excellent way to let customers test the compatibility and performance of the product for themselves before committing to purchasing a license.

CodeWeavers' CrossOver Office comes in three main flavours. The Standard Edition, which we tested here, is a standalone application licensed for a single user with limited support and upgrade period. If any other users on the machine want to use CodeWeavers' CrossOver Office, they need to purchase their own copy. The Standard Edition is available only as an 11MB download.

CrossOver Office Professional is also standalone, with support for multiple local users. It can be purchased on CD as well as downloaded, and it includes 12 months of a higher level of support. Bulk and educational discounts are available.

CrossOver Office Server Edition provides a centrally managed way of distributing Windows productivity applications to Linux thin clients, with a premium level of support designed for large-scale deployments.

Installation

CrossOver Office is distributed as a large bourne shell script. On invoking the script, a graphical installer is launched that takes you through the install and configuration process. We found the installer to be simple to use. Once the installer was complete, CrossOver Office then offered us a dialog through which to install various Microsoft Windows software. The installation process automatically created entries in our KDE and GNOME menus, a CrossOver submenu with access to various CrossOver Office tools and a Windows Applications menu for our Windows application launchers once installed.

Figure 1. CrossOver Office Install Software Dialog

The installation process was quick, painless and easy to follow. We give CrossOver Office a thumbs up for installation.

Ease of Use

One installed, we immediately tested installing an application from the Internet by selecting the Internet Explorer browser. CrossOver Office gave us excellent feedback, letting us know what it was doing at each stage of the process. The familiar Windows installer dialog for Internet Explorer was launched, and after clicking through the wizard, we were returned to CrossOver Office while it simulated a Windows reboot. Once this was complete, an Internet Explorer launcher could be found in the KDE menu under Windows Applications, making finding and executing the newly installed program a breeze.

Figure 2. Installing Internet Explorer

We tested installing software from CD using Microsoft Office 2000. The application installer managed to detect the correct CD-ROM drive and install from it.

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