So you can get the same for free. But paying for CrossOver does have significant advantages: So, what does CO do? That means that you can run Windows software without needing a copy of Windows.
An important, though perhaps under documented, point is that you don't really buy CO - you purchase the right to run the currently recent version, plus all updates for the next 12 Months. After that you may continue to use CO, but you can't update, and you are no longer entitled to support unless you purchase a license extension. For a business these terms are quite acceptable. Private users may not require continued support; yet being able to have the most recent version of CO can be worth the admission fee.
If you don't know your way around Windows and the Windows software does not run from the get go a rarity with old titles , you are pretty much screwed. That being said, the customization features of WINE are limited, which is both a boon and a problem if your software requires a particular feature.
How well does it work? Well, if you have legacy software that is standard, straight code and you need to access that software or data, it works really, really well. CodeWeaver's site has a compatibility DB where you can check on-line if an application will run; be advised though that this DB isn't always current, and new versions of CrossOver can break compatibility with older software.
If you have legacy software that taxed the system at the time usually games , used DRM, or non-standard graphics e. GLide , results are mixed. I was able, for example, to install Homeworld off the original CD, and could play it - but only in software rendering, and at xx But all animations, sounds, and interface worked flawless, at full speed. Many other games, though, didn't run at all Mechcommander 2 a Microsoft Title , Ground Control, Red Alert, Independence War , others worked but were unplayable because they did not read input devices correctly Freespace, Freesapce 2.
Other titles ran, but were so old that their usability was null Tribes, Starsiege because their infrastructure did no longer exists - not a fault of CO, though. As a general rule of thumb, compatibility increases when the software is younger and starts using Windows-based standard libraries. Most productivity software MS Office, Quicken, Visio not only runs really well, but because it is officially supported by CodeWeavers, installation is quick and painless.
For many other titles that are not officially supported, there are community-provided installers that help you navigate some pitfalls during installation and that makes using CO much, much easier. If you are using Steam, though, CrossOver is a great tool. Many old games work well when downloaded into a steam bottle they will install into the same 'Bottle' as steam , and this way you gain access to many classic game titles that are otherwise unavailable on the Mac.
Newer steam titles work, but the newest usually don't because of performance issues. Older titles usually work well, but may require you to install an obscure Windows library - without CO support I would not have been able to do so. So, is it worth it? If you have a legacy app and need to access or import windows data, then it is definitely worth a shot you have a trial period to see if it works , and well worth the price if it works.
It's much cheaper to than to spring for a full Windows emulation plus Windows, and you can switch between windows versions. For me, it's a great help, and the cost for service is negligible compared to what I would need to pay had I used a Windows PC and some Windows expert to keep it running. And if you want to play some classic titles that are available on Steam, it's definitely worth a try. Like
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