Windows on Intel Macs : serious things are still to come

Parallels Workstation has just been updated to RC1 : the tool is almost finished. But this news might be eclipsed by the one from CodeWeavers. JeremyWhite, the CEO of this software company well known for its tool CrossOver that allows the execution of Windows apps with Linux, has just sent an e-mail to the ones who showed their interest in an upcoming Intel Mac version of its piece of software.

CrossOver for Intel Macs has reached alpha 1 and is available to a happy few of early testers. According to Jeremy White, this first working version “shows a lot of promise.” Of course, it’s far from being finalized and CrossOver for Intel Macs is not intended to be used for real production work. Right now, it may already allow to install Windows apps and execute them from a “Programms” menu like the one on Windows. CrossOve also comes with a “Export to Finder” function that allows one to directly launch Windows apps from Mac OS X finder.
CrossOver alpha 1 testers are requested to focus on a short list of apps. The game Half Life 2 is one of those. But, for the time being, it “doesn’t work in any useful way”. That’s something the guys from Codeweavers “plan on having in the next alpha release”.

Also, CrossOver alpha 1 needs the Apple X11 kit in order to run. But that should be fixed later.

All of these just comforts news from Julio Ojeda-Zapata : “In demonstrations, Code-Weavers head Jeremy White also used CrossOver to run Microsoft Project (that app and Microsoft’s Visio are top priorities, he says) and Windows versions of Internet Explorer and the “WarCraft III” game.”

Answering a few questions, Jeremy White insisted : the current product “is an alpha and not really suitable for being judged or even harsh scrutiny. We have quite a bit of polish to before we think it’s ready for customers.”
But that’s already great news. In the end, it seems we’ll have three ways to run Windows app on Intel Macs; three ways for three kind of uses. Boot Camp is perfect to secure switchers : they can run a full featured Windows on their brand new Mac. Parallels Workstation is doing a great job at helping people who need a full Windows environment from time to time, without having to restart. CrossOver would wonderful for those who just need to run a few Windows apps on a regular basis – like business apps in a company – without the cost a Windows licence.