Those who recently switched from Windows to Mac may have a collection of software that they can no longer use. For those unable or unwilling to purchase a separate Windows operating system license, CrossOver for Mac will run a limited number of popular applications well.
CrossOver for Mac is available as a free trial with a 14-day use limit, and the full version may be purchased for $20. The program downloads and installs quickly and there is access to technical support via e-mail, the responsiveness of which was not tested. The program did not have any instructions easily accessible, which would have been welcome in light of the interface. Fortunately, the main menu is fairly user-friendly and asks whether it needs to install a program or run an existing one. The application is not intended to work with all Windows programs, which would require a full OS installation via Boot Camp or Parallels. The program's documentation lists which programs it is designed to run well; those who need programs not listed should look elsewhere. Using a test disc of Office '03, the program immediately recognized the installation disc and began to load the program. It ran as intended with no noticeable glitches or lost features.
While CrossOver for Mac works well for running some older Windows applications, those seeking to run complex games or several programs should seek a full Windows OS installation.
Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of CrossOver for Mac 12.1.2.