Deal joins Microsoft Office and Linux

The fruits of a recent collaboration between Windows-emulation software maker CodeWeavers and application access software provider Tarantella is making it possible for Linux servers to host Microsoft Office and other Windows-based productivity applications for multiple users. The two companies announced last week that they would deliver an Internet-optimized version of CodeWeavers' CrossOver Office Server Edition that integrates Tarantella's Enterprise 3 thin-client server.

St. Paul, Minn.-based CodeWeavers Inc. ( is one of the corporate backers of The WINE Project, an open-source software initiative that allows Linux to run Microsoft Windows applications as if they were running natively. WINE creates a Windows compatibility layer on top of Linux and Unix OSes.

CodeWeavers' CrossOver Office Server Edition product allows users to run Windows productivity apps in a distributed thin-client environment under Linux, without the need for Microsoft operating system licenses.

Tarantella Inc. (, Santa Cruz, Calif., is a supplier of secure application access software similar to the popular Citrix product from Citrix Systems Inc. Tarantella's Enterprise 3 server is a thin-client product that allows companies to deploy legacy applications through a Web browser. Unlike Citrix ( ), the product does not require a specialized client.

The combined offering of the two companies makes it possible for Linux or Unix users to access applications such as Word and Outlook through a Web browser with no special client software. According to Guy Churchward, director of strategic alliances at Tarantella, they are providing a lower cost alternative to Microsoft's Windows Terminal Server or Citrix, both of which allow Linux clients to run Microsoft Office from a server.

''Citrix and Microsoft Terminal Server licenses typically cost hundreds of dollars per user,'' Churchward said in a statement. ''The CrossOver Office Server Edition, optimized for the Internet, allows cost savings and convenience while eliminating the challenge of CAL licensing procedures and providing freedom from managing Microsoft Terminal Server.''

Microsoft Windows Terminal Server and Citrix also require that the server run Windows, which adds additional licensing fees for each client. In an effort to give users an opportunity to test drive the less well-known duo's new solution, the firms plan to deliver an Internet-optimized version of CrossOver Office Server Edition, including a free single-user license, to Tarantella Enterprise 3 customers.

''Our mission has always been to help leverage Windows technology on Linux,'' said CodeWeavers CEO and founder Jeremy White. ''Through the partnership with Tarantella, we are now able to deliver a cost-effective solution to new markets and expand our customer base to include users who need access to their Windows applications securely over the Internet from any device.''

The two companies are offering a demo version of Crossover Office Server Edition for Tarantella Enterprise 3. Versions licensed for up to 500 users are available at

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at


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