Enterprise-level Linux users will be able to install and operate Microsoft's Office and Lotus Notes without using the Windows operating system.
Known for its work with the Open Source Wine project, a company named CodeWeavers has released its CrossOver Office products and services to help Linux users run Windows technologies.
The Wine project is an open source effort to imitate in Linux the commands used by Windows programs.
CrossOver Office includes a single click interface which, after installation, will integrate directly with the Gnome or KDE environment.
Linux users who need to use standard business applications, such as Microsoft Office, would usually have to install an emulator program as well as license copies of Windows and the application they want to run.
Jeremy White, founder and president of CodeWeavers, explained that the product streamlines the entire Microsoft Office/Lotus deployment challenge for Linux shops and for companies that use both Windows and Linux.
"The powerful combination of CrossOver Office and Linux represents a viable, commercially supported alternative for corporations feeling constrained by Windows XP's restrictive and cumbersome licensing scheme but wish to continue using popular Windows applications," he said.
CrossOver Office is being marketed to enterprise customers migrating to the Linux operating system, IT consultants specialising in desktop management, resellers, and internet appliance and thin client users.
Rick Lehrbaum, executive editor of DesktopLinux.com, said that by making it simpler to use Windows software on Linux "CodeWeavers has knocked down a major barrier to the growth of the Linux desktop. This will help many organisations choose the power, flexibility and value of the Linux desktop."
White said that the company plans on rolling out support for several more major Windows productivity applications throughout the year. He maintained that CrossOver Display will make it possible to run Windows software on a PC and display it on a remote display device.
CrossOver Server, which will target the internet appliance and thin client markets, will provide a complete Windows operating environment with no Microsoft licence fees, according to the company.
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