updated 07:25 pm EST, Thu January 27, 2011
"Recipes" to improve installing, launching apps
Codeweavers today unveiled a new version of their flagship product CrossOver for Mac and Linux, a Wine environment that supports running various (but not all) Windows programs without the need to install an actual Windows OS. The new version 10 is now nicknamed "The Impersonator" -- and the staff and guests at their booth at Macworld 2011 have run with the idea that the new version lets Mac and Linux users "put on a Windows costume," as you'll see in MacNN's exclusive pictures.
CrossOver v10 uses a technology the company calls "CrossTie" to create profiles (or "recipes" as Codeweavers refer to them) that custom-configure the Wine "bottles" to work with particular applications, making it easier and more reliable to launch hundreds of previously Windows-only applications. Wine itself recreates the APIs and system structure of Windows, making the programs think they are running on a Windows system when in fact they aren't.
The switch to CrossTie technology means that configuration and installation of a Windows application into Crossover is now a one-click affair (Linux users will have to download the CrossTie profile first, then launch it). Additionally, Crossover v10 includes almost 4,500 patches released for Wine over the last year, boosting performance and compatibility with many applications but particularly focusing on the biggest names, such as Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer and the Steam game platform. Finally, the technology behind CrossTie also allows Crossover to automatically update itself with the latest patches, ensuring a continually self-improving product.
Another big change in v10 is the move to Leopard or higher only (and of course requires an Intel Mac). Crossover no longer supports Tiger, and has added localizations for German, Czech, Chinese, Brazilian and Portuguese. The new version makes extensive changes to better support all PC versions of Office, but in particular users of Office 2003 and 2007 will notice improvements in installation and operation.
For the Mac edition, printing is now supported in Win98 bottles, Quicken 2002 is now able to print checks and reports, Quicken 2011 is now supported, Internet Explorer 6 now defaults to a Win2000 bottle to fix printing issues, and bugs with Enterprise Architect 8, FrameMaker 7.2, ChemSketch and Visio have been resolved. The program now runs off Wine 1.3.9.
CrossOver Mac and CrossOver Games v10, "The Impersonator" is available for immediate download for existing customers, along with a trial version for new customers. The programs cost $40 for a license and six months of support; a "Professional" edition that includes 12 months of support and licenses for both CrossOver Mac (or Linux) and CrossOver Games is $70.