Run Windows apps on your Mac for free?

Run Windows apps on your Mac for free?

Summary: CodeWeavers said Monday that persons visiting its site on Tuesday will be able to download a free copy of its CrossOver compatibility layer for Windows applications. The software lets many Windows applications run on the Mac without installing a copy of Windows.

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Run Windows apps on your Mac for free?CodeWeavers said Monday that persons visiting its site on Tuesday will be able to download a free copy of its CrossOver compatibility layer for Windows applications. The software lets many Windows applications run on the Mac without installing a copy of Windows. The company said the products available will be CrossOver Mac, CrossOver Games and CrossOver Linux.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, Oct. 28, anyone visiting the CodeWeavers' Web site will be given a deal code that will entitle them to one free copy of CodeWeavers' CrossOver software. The giveaway period will commence at 12 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 28, and ends at midnight the same day.

The Mac software is a commercial version of the Wine project and usually costs $39.95.

Of course, the compatibility picture for CrossOver varies by application. Many run in a limited fashion. On its Compatibility grid, CodeWeavers lists 146 compatible apps ranked as gold, silver or bronze. Few are golden.

One of the major interests in CrossOver is to run Microsoft Internet Explorer for sites that restrict use of alternate browsers such as Safari.

However, that hope may have roadblocks, according to Lorca Hanns, a webmaster and co-leader of the BMUGWest Macintosh user group in San Francisco. In a message sent to the group, he said that users should understand the limitations of CrossOver.

If you're using it to run Windows IE to get to some site that "won't run on Mac" and requires third-party plugins to display video/etc., then you may be disappointed. The underlying library that CrossOver uses frequently doesn't support the "hooks" the third-party plug-ins may need from a "real" copy of Windows.

He suggested that users needing a more robust solution consider Windows virtualization products such as Sun's free VirtualBox project, or the commercial alternatives from Parallels and VMware. Still, he added that Tuesday's free price-tag for CrossOver made experimentation painless.

Topics: Windows, Apple, Hardware, Operating Systems, Software

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12 comments
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  • My primary OS is Windows but no IE for me

    Any site still coding exclusively for IE doesn't warrant my attention nor business.
    GoPower
    • That's easy for you to say...

      ...but we have to deal with some banking and government sites that are not only IE specific, but IE6 specific. We complain loudly, but to deaf ears. One government site told us to expect the middle of 2009 before they were ready to support IE7. When I suggested FF as an alternative, they about had a heart attack.
      itpro_z
      • Bank Security is a problem

        I agree that many bank sites will NOT work on anything other than IE.
        I have found many will not let you run Opera, which also has Linux and OSX versions because they complain that it is not secure. I have no idea what these programmers are doing, but obviously they are married to Microsoft.
        It would be nice to have a "STANDARD" of minimum browser specifications and then let the creators of these things add new features, so we do not have to resort to IE just to do banking.
        Also, off topic, trying to do banking off a some PDA phones is a nightmare!
        I have used Fusion and Parallels on Intel Macs along with Qemu, virtualbox, and others.
        The CodeWeavers is great for "CERTAIN" support applications, but it can, in the past, be a nightmare to run other applications not on their list. So, the other virtual OS systems are usually a better choice. I have seen and bought Fusion for under $30 on sale at Frys and Microcenter.
        bob@...
  • RE: Run Windows apps on your Mac for free?

    If you're going to a website that requires Active-X you should
    find a new web site. This is where 99% of all viruses come
    from.
    berniemac_z
    • Where did you get that figure from?

      Making up numbers now? 99% of viruses from Active X controls... that's funny. Of course, you have to agree to an Active X control installing. So I suppose it does require user intervention afterall.
      LiquidLearner
      • It's called rhetoric

        The phrase 99% is an idiom in the English language that means
        "vast majority."

        But, of course, you already knew this, you were just being a
        pedantic *******
        frgough
  • Just buy a comparably powered PC for 1/3rd the price and it already has it!

    Windows, that is.

    This is a non-article, forgive me.

    Especially when Macs are using cloned PC hardware running a proprietary/open source hybrid.
    HypnoToad
    • right so design and Research and development is for nothing?

      so apple just wastes our time by releasing new technology
      and improving on their existing ones.
      why don't you read a bit about their new figures that were
      released, that 25B is not a "clone" of Microsoft's
      vachi
    • And spend half your life "fixing" it

      Because no matter how hard you try, you're not going to be able to "fix" that Windoze clunker. I know - that's what I do for a living all day, until I can run home to my safe, trouble-free Mac - for over 20 years the only brand I've ever bought (and I've seen not the slightest reason to change that buying pattern).
      macbill
  • RE: Run Windows apps on your Mac for free?

    The key here is that Windows is not required. All of the other options require a full Windows license. Those of us familiar with the WINE project (Wine Is Not an Emulator) for more than the last five minutes (lots of "experts" popping up now), know that we've gone from simple and humble beginnings to a project today that runs a lot of Windows apps regardless of Codeweavers' ratings - if you're willing to perform a bit of under-the-hood work.

    The move to OS X is a good idea, but one important caveat that is not mentioned in this article is that WINE and Crossover only run on Intel-based Macs. There are still a LOT of PPC Macs out there.

    Also, IE is not the main draw, so I'm not sure where that came from. It may be what CodeWeavers are trying to sell, but the majority of users under Linux are more focused on gaming and MS Office compatibility.
    Timpraetor
  • bad news for Microsoft, good news for developers

    wow this is like the OpenOffice release where they too had to
    shut down their website to accommodate for the high volume
    of traffic. This really is a great news for all of us, Mac and
    LInux that is, it also can be a news for win developers who
    might try to develop CrossOver ready apps for windows that
    Mac and Linux users will use. It can open many possibilities,
    one thing is sure this hurts windows even more.
    vachi
    • Why use win software

      Most Apple users are MS haters but yet want to run MS software on their macs, how hypocritical is that. Hurt MS... i'm pretty sure there are some illegalities/copyright circumventions/terms and condition breaches in the emulation of MS software without MS permission, and i'm guessing they will get paid to grant those permissions or prosecute. Sorry to dampen your hopes and possibilities. MS still controls how its software can be used... or emulated in this case
      mrjoctave@...