Running Microsoft Office in Linux with Cross Over Office

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You probably have Windows and Microsoft Office installed on your PC. When you decide to install Linux on the PC, you can, for a price, continue to run the key Microsoft Office applications from the GNOME or KDE desktop. The convenience of running Microsoft Office in Linux comes in the form of a commercial product called CrossOver Office.

CrossOver Office, from CodeWeavers, is a software package that enables you to install your Microsoft Office applications (all versions of Office, including Office 97, Office Secret 2000, and Office XP) in Linux. You do not need Microsoft Windows to run the Office applications in CrossOver Office. You simply install CrossOver Office and then install Microsoft Office from the Microsoft Office CD-ROM (CrossOver Office enables you to install many more Windows applications, including Internet Explorer, Outlook, Lotus Notes, Adobe Photoshop, Quicken, and iTunes). After you install Microsoft Office, the Office applications will be available directly from GNOME or KDE desktop.

CrossOver Office uses Wine —an open-source implementation of the Windows Win32 and Win16 application programming interfaces (APIs) using the X Window System and designed to run in UNIX and Linux systems. Wine includes the Wine loader and WineLib. Wine loader can load and run Windows applications. WineLib is used for compiling and linking Windows applications in Linux. Wine is available free of charge from www.winehq.com.

CodeWeavers created CrossOver Office using a customized version of Wine to make sure that the Microsoft Office applications, especially Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, run properly on Wine. CodeWeavers charges a nominal amount for CrossOver Office —the list price is $39.95 for CrossOver Office Standard and $74.95 for CrossOver Office Professional —but all changes to Wine are returned to the Wine project. Thus, the Wine open-source project benefits from the sale of CrossOver Office.

You can learn more about CrossOver Office and purchase it at CodeWeavers' website

(www.codeweavers.com/products/cxoffice/).

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