Linux desktop emulates Windows for office apps

Lycoris has released an add-on for its desktop version of Linux that lets Microsoft applications run without the need to pay for a Windows software licence.Following a deal with software developer CodeWeavers in June, Lycoris has released PowerPak 1.

Lycoris has released an add-on for its desktop version of Linux that lets Microsoft applications run without the need to pay for a Windows software licence.

Following a deal with software developer CodeWeavers in June, Lycoris has released PowerPak 1.4 which incorporates Window PCs emulation into its Linux desktop software.

Jon Parshall, chief operating officer at CodeWeavers, said late last week that the integrated software will make migration to Linux easier for Windows users and will save on licensing costs.

"Our system does not require a fully licensed copy of the Windows operating system, unlike other emulation solutions," said Parshall. "The system works by spoofing Microsoft applications so they think they are on a Windows PC."

He said the system makes the transition to Linux for home users or small businesses easier as they can continue using Word or Excel. Parshall claims that Windows applications can be run at native speed because the CodeWeaver application is integrated into the Lycoris file system.

James Governer, a software analyst at Red Monk, said he thinks that packaging Lycoris with CodeWeaver is a big step forward, but that the release is less likely to appeal to Linux fans as it is less flexible than other Linux distributions.

"Most distros throw in everything including the kitchen sink when it comes to media handling, productivity tools and so on. SuSE, for example, packages pretty much every piece of relevant open-source code available. This is not an offering for Linux fans," he said.

Lycoris PowerPak 1.4 is priced at US$75 and is available online from the company's Web site.

ZDNet UK's Ingrid Marson reported from London. For more coverage from ZDNet UK, click here.

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