I have received some feedback on my previous Linux post talking about a commercial product for Linux called Cross Over published by Codeweavers. According to their web site, they are a “leading corporate backer of the Wine Project.” Their product works “by packaging Wine into an easy-to-use product.” It comes in different versions for the Mac, Linux desktop, and Linux Server, with the desktop version coming in a standard (6 months of limited support, comes with a free trial version: $40) and pro (enhanced deployability features, multi-user support, and 12 months of higher level support: $70) flavors. For the law office or any other business buying in volume, there are discounts. The idea here is to create a product that is “Wine on steroids” and easy to install. The question is, does it get us our “must-have apps” on Linux?

Sadly, the answer appears to be no. The Codeweavers site contains an excellent list of law-related apps and a rating of how well they run under Cross Over. These ratings run from Gold (applications that install and run as you would expect them to in Microsoft Windows) to Untested (Codeweavers has not tested the application, they do not know if they will work, and they do not support them). The problem is, every single law-related app is rated as Untested. At best, on another list, QuickBooks is rated Bronze. Also, for those who want to stay with MS Office and do not trust OpenOffice on file format compatibility, Office 1997-2000 has a Gold rating, Office XP Silver, and Office 2003 Bronze. Please don’t misunderstand me; this looks to be an excellent product maintained by a company dedicated to extending the Wine product to as many apps as possible. I will check this list periodically to see how it shapes up. You can also look for yourself and search their site to see how your mission-critical application runs. The answer to the question I posted, therefore, is: Yes, they will get us closer, and we may even arrive in the near future. The problem is, we aren’t there yet.

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