CrossOver Office: Windows-to-Linux software

Are you itching to try Linux but unwilling to leave Microsoft Office behind? Check out CrossOver Office from CodeWeavers. This software allows users of the Linux operating system to run the 97 and 2000 (but not Office XP) editions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook - and Lotus Notes 5, as well. CrossOver Office enabled me to write this review using Word 2000 on a PC running Mandrake Linux.

Installing my version of CrossOver Office software began with a wizard-like setup routine. After a few clicks, CrossOver asked me for my Microsoft Office CD-ROM (purchased separately); Microsoft Office Setup appeared shortly thereafter, wanting a CD key. The installation then proceeded as it would have under Windows. I found Lotus Notes similarly painless to set up. CrossOver can help install Microsoft TrueType fonts, too, and I used its Add Other feature to load my Windows PIM of choice, InfoSelect.

I tested CrossOver Office on both the Lycoris Desktop/LX and Mandrake Linux distributions. On Desktop/LX, CrossOver had difficulty locating the CD-ROM drive, and Office fonts were a bit mangled, but the applications were usable. On Mandrake, Office looked and behaved almost exactly as it does under Windows. There were minor display oddities, but that's par for the course with Wine and hardly a disruption.

Office suites that are native to Linux (such as OpenOffice.org) continue to mature, but for some users, there is just no substitute for Microsoft Office. With CrossOver Office, you don't have to leave your Word and Excel behind if you're ready to work without Windows.

In brief: CrossOver Office.

For those Linux devotees who believe there's no substitute for Microsoft Office, software CrossOver delivers.

Price: $US55 download.

URL: www.codeweavers.com.

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Matthew Newton

PC World
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