I’ve had a copy of Crossover Plugin and then Office floating around since the Codeweavers first started selling their product. When it first came out it did some pretty cool things, and I got it so I could run Excel and Word Viewer on my machine for the times when (sometimes) Gnumeric or (mostly) Abiword couldn’t read a file I need. Unfortunately it couldn’t handle Lotus Smartsuite, the office application we used internally so it didn’t see much use.
After a while I replaced it with Win4Lin, particularly so I could run my Westpac NZ Deskbank program, which required windows and access to a dialup modem. Although I’d already updated crossover once in order to funding a good company that supported the OSS community I couldn’t justify a second time, so when my subscription came up for renewal last year I let it lapse. Subsequently Codeweavers have released version 3.0 of Crossover Office. At the time of release I was interested, but unfortunately because my subscription had expired and thus not really interested in trying and maybe using it. Also I knew the Deskbank would always require Win4Lin.
Recently we changed banks to ASB Bank, as part of this we moved to a new banking software, Fastnet Office. From talking to the help desk and seeing how the software ran I could tell it was based somehow on IE technology. Probably with IE6 running under the hood. At the time we moved I was business, so I didn’t really consider trying Crossover, but I’ve been in the process of developing the shift of our business desktops from Windows 2000 to KDE. We use OpenOffice as our office application now, so ability to run Lotus is no longer a consideration.
Since I still had a copy of Crossover Office 2.1, a few weeks ago I fire this up, ran the updater and then installed the Fastnet Office software. Unfortunately it failed to work and although it didn’t crash, it was able to run due to some “lack of proper resources”. Luckly for me Codeweavers offers trial versions of their software.
So today I downloaded the trial install package. Run the installer as myself doing a standard install into ~/cxoffice/, my active install of 2.1 is in /opt/cxoffice with user data files in ~/lib/cxoffice. The install went off without a hitch, and as with past Crossover installs was very clean.
Now my first surprise was that the new install of Crossover Office 3.0 seemed to pickup the applications I’d installed in 2.1. IE 6.0+SP1, and in fact the Fastnet Office and DCOM installs. Secondary on the menu config page it had an button to add Fastnet to the menu. Interesting. So after trying this I discovered that it had added a item to the KDE start menu.
Wow thats nice, I thought. Now its time to test Fastnet. It ran first time. No problems. I logged in. Check my account balances, fiddled with the international finance side of things. Did a print out of one of the direct credit batches. All without any problems at all. Impressive.
At this stage I haven’t tested any of the other applications I use in Win4Lin. Mainly though its just IE for the sites that refuse to work on Firefox. I stopped using IE under crossover 2.1 as it was very slow and tendered to crash. I suspect though from the performance of Fastnet Office and IE under crossover 3.0 will run very well.
Win4Lin is a great product, and I use it almost everyday. I’m definitely going to update my subscription to Crossover Office and I’ll start using it for Fastnet Office on a regular basis. This probably will mean I don’t load Win4Lin as much, and probably will use it as much until maybe the Windows 2000 version is released.