Codeweaver’s Crossover does the job!

Recently I downloaded the latest trial version of Codeweavers Crossover 10 after getting seriously frustrated with Wine. The recent updates of wine broke my MS Office installation so many times that I nearly went back to Windows !! 
Moreover, I was so tired of Evolution not working with MS Exchange and all those organisations who refuse to give up MS Exchange as their mail servers! 
I had to look for an alternative. I had three choices; 1. Buy a Mac. 2. Go back to the Virus World i.e. Windows  or 3. Use Codeweaver’s Crossover Linux.
I couldn’t afford to buy a Mac! Too expensive! And I like to stay away from virus infection. They are such a pain! So, I decided to try Crossover 10. 
The installation was easy; downloaded the 30 day trial version and  installed it within my home directory. 
After installation I encountered a minor but serious issue. The Unity Dash does not like Crossover!  The application does not show up in the applications list. If you search for it, it shows up icons without any text, and the icons do no respond to clicks. So, anyone who is using Unity without Classic Menu Indicator or Gnome-pie Menus is out of luck!
No text below the icons 
Luckily I had both installed, so I navigated to Crossover Menu and fired up the interface for installing windows applications. The interface is very confusing for a novice user. It is also not very visually pleasing.  One advice if I  can give to the devs is to improve the UI. 

After getting past the initial hurdle, I selected Microsoft Office 2007 from the supported applications list. I selected the location for the installer file and clicked Install to start the installation.

The installer automatically creates a bottle called Microsoft Office 2007 and downloads all the required fonts and install .Net executables before the installation. After that the installer automatically continues with the MS Office Installation. You will have to enter the serial number for the product to complete the installation.

Once the installation was complete, I compared the installation with MS Word installed in Wine, and I was surprised to see the difference in font rendering, stability and handling of files. Crossover Linux clearly handled the large files very efficiently and the fonts looked much crisper than in Wine. 

I was most impressed because MS Outlook 2007 runs flawlessly in Crossover Linux 10. I setup my MS Exchange account and now I can send and receive emails just as I do it in Windows. I can fireup Outlook from my  menu without any crashes and all MS Office files automatically now open with Office instead of Libre Office.

If you have noticed, due to exclusion of Evolution, currently there is not default calendar application for Ubuntu 11.10. If you look in the default applications, it is set to Text Editor ( gedit). I think this is seriously lame. The Ubuntu devs could have atleast synced it with Thunderbird Lightning. Now, Outlook takes care of that. 

As you can see from the screenshot, the MS Outlook 2007 is performing perfectly fine, retrieving and sending emails. 

It can also archive emails and can import .pst files without a hitch. 

Running MS Office is very essential for me unlike many others. And no, I cannot use LibreOffice just becasue the formatting goes so horribly wrong for a .docx document. For a 40 page document, it is beyond repair! I just dont have the time. And Evolution is painfully slow, doesn’t work most of the time.

I have not played any games using Crossover and I dont think I can any time soon. All I needed is MS Office to work flawlessly and it does. I am happy about it. The last time I used Crossover was in 2008 when it  was on version 7.0 and I must say the support of applications has improved drastically since then. I might get one of these Crossover applications soon!

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