Sunday, September 03, 2006

CrossOver Mac Goes Beta

CodeWeavers have released a free, time-limited beta version of CrossOver Mac for public testing. CrossOver Mac is yet another way to run Windows applications on Intel based Macintosh systems but it doesn't follow the virtualization formula used by the likes of VMWare and Parallels Desktop. It's based on Wine, which is an Open-Source implementation of the Windows API and provides a means to run Windows executables on top of X and Unix systems.

Microsoft Visio running under CrossOver MacMicrosoft Visio Running Under CrossOver Mac

That means that you don't need to buy and install a copy of Windows, with all of its inherent faults and vulnerabilities. However, CrossOver Mac requires the Quartz Windows Manager, which is part of Apple's X11 implementation. However, you don't need all of that somewhat unstable package installed and CrossOver will copy the required files from your Mac OS X install disc if required.

Be aware though, that CodeWeavers are shipping this as an "early" test release so there will almost certainly be bugs and the final version may well undergo substantial changes. If that hasn't dampened your enthusiasm any, then you can download the 30MB, 60-day beta here. They're also a offering a substantial discount for pre-orders.

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