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I am not sure why I put off testing out this piece of software for so long, but Crossover is a really neat application. If you’re looking to run those one or two applications that can only be found on Windows and you’re current solution is Boot Camp or Parallels, well Crossover is yet another solution to get the job done.

They have a free trial version available. Try before you buy is always a great option. Crossover doesn’t require that you have Windows installed, you don’t even need a Windows installation disk!

After I downloaded and installed it I tried out a simple application like PuTTy. At first I thought it wasn’t working at all but after 30 seconds or so PuTTy popped open and it looked exactly like it does on a Windows computer! It seems that once the application is running it’ll run just as if it were running on a Windows PC. The basic applications that I tested out seem to run at full speed too.

The next application I tried was Google’s Picasa. Before I started using Macs and iPhoto I used Picasa. It’s a really decent photo management and simple photo editing program. It installed with absolutely ZERO hitches and worked just as if I had installed it on a Windows PC. I added some photos, edited a few and it worked great!

After about two Windows applications I had to spend a good 5 minutes thinking about other applications to install. It’s been such a long time since I’ve used Windows, I can’t remember any decent programs that run on it. Eventually WinAMP and Pidgin came to mind.

WinAMP also installed with no issues although the application itself doesn’t run exactly as if it were on Windows. I think that attributes to it’s skinning/theming system. Other then the fact that it displays a little funky it works perfectly fine!

Pidgin is a free open source instant messenger, probably the only decent one for Windows that doesn’t come loaded with spyware, malware and other nasty things. The only issue that I seemed to run into when installing Pidgin was it had an error when it was installing the spelling dictionary. Other then that, the application works just as intended.

As you can see, Crossover is some very powerful and quite useful software. Instead of waiting 45 minutes for Windows to install (Boot Camp & Parallels) I can simply download or insert the installation disk to a piece of Windows software, run through it’s installation and I can be using that software in 5 minutes. Most issues if any that I’ve come across are just display/UI issues, nothing major at all. If only I had a piece of Windows software that I needed, I would actually use Crossover on my Macintosh!

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