My Quiet Life My Quiet Life

Codeweavers' Crossover

I’m a UNIX geek. I admit it. I love it. I love my crappy little K6-200 OpenBSD firewall that outperforms many expensive proprietary solutions. I love how fast and stable my laptop (Dell Inspiron 8000) is, even running Debian Unstable.

However, being a UNIX geek in a Microsoft world is not always easy. Most offices, my own included, use Microsoft products extensively – namely, Microsoft Windows networking, Office, and Exchange/Outlook. Maintaining interoperability with these systems is the bane of any UNIX user’s existence.

Until now.

I bought Codeweavers’ Crossover plugin quite a while ago, and was very happy with it. Crossover plugin is a suite of fixes and improvements, basically, to the WINE codebase that allows you to use WINE to successfully use win32 plugins (quicktime, windows media player, et al) in any Linux browser. The installation was a breeze, and it worked flawlessly (except for a brief problem when debian unstable upgraded to glibc 2.3). I was very pleased.

So, after some meandering, I finally decided to pull the trigger and buy Crossover Office, which is their more expensive suite that allows you to run and install the full Microsoft Office suite under Linux. And boy, does it ever. It works, and it works well. I can run Word, Excel, Outlook, etc., with the best of them. I can even run Remedy! (any of you that has ever had to use Remedy know that this is in fact a mixed blessing, but it’s better than booting up friggin VMWare to run it, trust me). I’d swear even that some of these applications run faster under WINE in Linux than they did when I had Windows 2000 installed on this laptop.

Life in UNIX is fun again. I really have the best of both worlds, at this point. I have the speed, stability, functionality, and power of Linux on my laptop, and the power of Microsoft’s well-developed Office suite.

I paid $24.95 for the Crossover plugin and $55 or so for Crossover Office. It was the best $80 I ever spent. Furthermore, although Crossover is a commercial entity, they contribute every single fix they make back to the WINE codebase. Pretty incredible.