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CodeWeavers Unmasks Windows Impersonator For Mac, Linux

CrossOver software lets users run apps on PCs "without paying a dime to Microsoft," said the firm.

CodeWeavers on Thursday revealed CrossOver Mac Impersonator and CrossOver Linux Impersonator, a Wine environment designed to let users run many Windows applications without installing Microsoft's operating system on their Mac or Linux computer.

Wine is a free, open source software that provides native replacements for Windows DLLs to enable people to run Windows software on Linux and Unix. CrossOver 10, also known as Impersonator, uses Wine 1.3.9, which eventually will become 1.4.

"CrossOver -- Impersonator is the diamond edition of our CrossOver software, and because of the improved functionality, anyone from an open source novice to a hard core gamer can easily use our software, all without paying a dime to Microsoft," said COO Jon Parshall.

The Impersonator Edition includes CodeWeavers' new "CrossTie" installer, designed to let users install hundreds of Windows apps with one click of a button. The installer communicates directly with Impersonator's compatibility database, which lists thousands of software applications such as basic office packages, educational programs, and games, letting Linux and Mac users access them without Windows, according to CodeWeavers.

"One click on CrossTie and -- bam! -- users are set to run applications on their Mac or Linux machine," said CodeWeavers CEO Jeremy White. "Whether it's the latest Steam game, some random knitting program, or Microsoft Office, we put Windows' lipstick on your Mac, quickly and guiltlessly."

Shamelessly seeking publicity for their small company, White and Parshall donned non-traditional attire to promote their latest wares. In a public relations pitch Thursday at MacWorld, White dressed as Lucille Ball, complete with a startlingly red wig, while a black-wigged Parshall channeled Cher -- and both men strutted into the room with CodeWeavers' logo embedded in their stiletto heels. The booth is staffed by Captain Jack Sparrow, Fred Flintstone, a princess in pink, and a bearded man in a black dress.

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