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.