CrossOver 14 improving Windows apps on Macs

With Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 generally getting bad reviews, Mac users who need to run Windows apps often feel like installing Windows on a MacBook is like installing a cassette tape deck in a new Mercedes. Users of CodeWeaver's CrossOver don't have this self-esteem problem, as they can run Windows apps natively in OS X, without bothering with Windows itself.

The last major version, CrossOver 14, released last October, brought a new user interface that made it easier to launch Windows applications from within the CrossOver app, as well as being able to drag the icons of Windows apps to the OS X Dock. Version 14 also included over 5000 patches that increased the compatibility of Windows apps, according to CodeWeavers. Version 14 also added support for Quicken 2015 and several games not previously supported.

Since last October, CodeWeavers has issued five maintenance updates, a number that is consistent with the company's commitment to the software over the past 8 years. The most recent update was last month's version 14.1.3, which fixed a glitch with the game Banished. Version 14.1.1 improved support of joysticks for Windows games that used the WinMM technology, such as Final Fantasy VII and Vanguard Princess.

Although CrossOver can run thousands of Windows apps on a Mac (and there's a version for Linux, too), it doesn't run all Windows software. The CodeWeaver website has a list of supported apps, and a database of Windows apps rated gold, silver, and bronze. Mac users can also download the free trial and see for themselves if the Window app they need will work with CrossOver.

CrossOver 14 is $50, including 6 months of email support and free upgrades.