Most Linux users will have heard

of the WINE project; for those of you who

haven’t (or don’t use Linux at all) the project can very simply be described as

an open source implementation of the Windows API—it can either use native

Windows DLL’s or 100 Microsoft free code to provide a compatibility layer

between Windows applications and the Unix/X host.  I once decided that I would move over to

Linux as my full-time desktop OS and tried to have WINE run Dreamweaver MX (on

Fedora Core 2), after weeks of messing around I finally decided it wasn’t worth

the effort and re-installed Windows—yes I know there are Dreamweaver

alternatives for Linux but let’s be honest none of them really match its ease

of use and convenience.

Many moons ago commercial projects

were formed and broke away (although from what I gather CodeWeavers still

provide a great deal of backing

for the WINE project).  CodeWeavers’ CrossOver and TransGaming’s Cedega both give customers

a fully supported commercial product which allows certain Windows applications

to be run without having to spend an eternity trawling through debug logs and

mailing lists.  As you can guess from the

name TransGaming target the gaming market where as CodeWeavers seem to be more

focused on office and productivity applications.  Anyway, recently visiting the websites of

these companies I found it very interesting to see that both will shortly be

releasing Mac versions: CrossOver-Mac and Cider (get it? Cider, apples…).  The TransGaming site explains that over the

2006-2007 fiscal year Apple is expected to sell between 5.1 and 6.7 million Macs—50%

of buyers are “new to Mac” which means an increasing number of Windows users

are making the switch.  Software like

CrossOver-Mac could make that switch easier; users could for example continue

using some of their expensive Windows software packages (Microsoft Office,

Macromedia Studio etc) without having to re-purchase the Mac version.  From what I can make out Cider differs from

Cedega in that it isn’t an end user application, but rather a development model

intended to help software developers make their games cross-platform.

Why am I interested?  Simple, I decided to make the switch myself

and have my first Mac on order!  A 60 day

beta trial of CrossOver-Mac can be found here.