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Just a quick update on a product I first mentioned a couple of years back called Crossover Mac. CodeWeavers has produced a new version, version XI, that does away with the dual versions they used to have. It used to be that there was Crossover and Crossover Games, a version optimized for, yes, games (hope that’s not a spoiler for anyone).

They’ve finally combined the two into one, so no more need for splitting your programs up. Also, there’s no “regular” or “Pro” versions. On first run, it also offers to upgrade your “bottles” (your pseudo-Windows machines) and trash Crossover Games if you have it (it upgrades those bottles too).

They’ve also changed the pricing around a bit. Crossover is now $59.95 with one year of free updates, email support,  and one free phone support incident. If you don’t want to spend that much, you can go with 6 months of updates and no phone support for $49.95. Or you can go for 1 month of email support for $39.95. In all cases, the software is downloaded, not shipped.

I’m using it now to avoid firing up a whole Virtual Machine just to run a baseball program I picked up. This program was designed for Win 95/NT (and runs on XP, Vista and Win 7) and also runs great in Crossover. The startup time is a lot less than starting up a VM – and my nightly backup doesn’t see a large, 20 GB VM file changed, just any files having to do with the program.

Oddly enough, I didn’t think it would work at first. The install hung near the end, where it said it was cleaning up. But after killing it and restarting the bottle, I was surprised to find the program working just fine. I did have to manually add the program to Crossover’s program menu because the install choked, but that wasn’t too tough. Crossover lets you poke around and look for programs on your “c drive” – the directory where it sets up the drive, anyway – so I found them there and added them to menu.

If you are thinking about using it, you should download the free trial so you can see if it runs your program OK. It’s cheaper than buying a copy of Windows, and if it works, generally faster than running in a VM.


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