I am an avid user of virtualization and emulation since as long as I can remember. However, what a heavy-weight solution it is to support an application only by means of a virtualization host.
For example, I use a great program to learn German called the Rosetta Stone. Unfortunately it ships only with a Windows installer and no means of running on my other two primary OSs, Linux and OSX (Leopard and Panther), other than by means of some emulation/encapsulation/virtualization layer. Here is where CrossOver and products such as VMware can readily and reliably step in (especially the latter).
As it has been for a while, I first try to run the application in CrossOver then should that fail, I’ll install it into as a guest into my VMM, usually VMware nowadays. Of course there are programs I will install straight into a VM for other reasons, such as interaction, dependencies or data exchange between existing or planned programs.
The downside to both of the above solutions is cost. Now aside from running free virtualization products (which I do), I don’t see cutting ties to VMware any time soon (not just because I’m certified and therefore must proselytize).
A CrossOver license is required for each machine that I install it on, regardless of whether or not there isn’t concurrent usage.
The pros for Bordeaux are:
- Inexpensive! (I can afford to dish out for a copy for each of my key systems)
- Supports Linux (I use BSD for servers only right now really so its BSD support is neither a pro or con)
- Office 2007 support (CrossOver still lists their support of 2007 as primitive)
The cons for Bordeaux are:
- Less official application support
- Doesn’t support OSX installation officially
Right now, I’m betting on CrossOver over Bordeaux only in that it is the established player. Once I see Bordeaux support Office 2007, I’ll reconsider. I run a few Windows VMs on my MacBook Pro so I’m well covered regardless and can wait patiently.