It used to be that running Windows programs on a Mac was a slow, painful process. There was only one option: running Virtual PC emulation software. But with Apple Computer's shift to Intel chips, the pool of options has expanded considerably. For one, Apple has its own Boot Camp software, which lets Intel-based Macs boot up with either Windows or Mac OS X. Meanwhile, start-up Parallels has released software that lets the Microsoft operating system run in a separate virtual machine with only a slight loss in performance.
Soon there will be yet another option, which, unlike the current choices, doesn't even require a copy of Windows. A company called CodeWeavers is using an open-source technology called Wine to allow some Windows programs to run under Mac OS X. CodeWeavers is in early testing with CrossOver Office for Mac now and plans to release a final version of the software in July or August. CEO Jeremy White said he would have liked to have seen his product out before the rivals.