We agree that popularity of Linux based OSes are spreading like wildfire, and many others are opting for Mac OS as well. But let’s face it, Windows is still the most used operating system for desktops and laptops. And if you are also a Windows user who is willing to switch to another platform but is held back by your favourite Windows applications, here’s a good news. There are certain different methods available to bring your Windows applications to your current OS. Please see the list below
Started in 1993, Wine is an open source project. The project is developed and maintained by the community under the coordination of Alexandre Julliard.
The already popular app is compatibility layer between Windows programs and the operating system. It converts Windows API calls to POSIX calls, thus allowing integration of Windows applications to POSIX-compliant OS (Mac OS X, GNU/Linux, and BSD). Rather than an emulator or virtual machine, it is a reimplementation of Win32 API.
The app basically supports Windows XP, but support for newer versions of Windows is actively included in its new releases. Wine supports 32-bit architecture; support for 64-bit architecture is still under development. It allows you to run programs like MS Office, Windows Media Player, Adobe Photoshop, Max Payne, and several other games and applications.
CrossOver is the commercialized and supported version of Wine for Linux and Mac OS X. The proprietary software comes with out-of-the-box support for many commercial Windows applications like MS Office, MS Outlook, MS .NET Framework, Adobe Lightroom, DirectX, etc.
You can also play games like Counter Strike, Diablo, StartCraft, Half Life, World of Warcraft via this. Though Wine is a free alternative, CrossOver, provided by CodeWeavers, is a better choice for professionals and organizations who want to run particular software on Linux or Mac OS X.
While Wine and CrossOver both provide support for a lot of applications with Wine, you are required to customize settings for the particular app, and for CrossOver you have to fork out money for it. PlayOnLinux is a nice alternative for both.
PlayOnLinux is a graphical front-end for Wine compatibility layer. It simplifies the installation of Windows apps and especially games on GNU/Linux by auto-configuring Wine. It provides wrapper shell scripts to specify the configuration of Wine for any particular software. It also uses an online database of scripts to apply for different programs, and a manual installation can be performed if the script is not available.
WineBottler is an app packager, which means it packages Windows-based applications into Mac app-bundles. The name suggests that it is connected to Wine, which is basically how you can run Windows programs with it on your Mac. To use it, install it. That’s it.
Click the Install button in WineBottler and it will take care of the rest. It comes with handy scripts that take care of downloading, installing, and configuring an application for you. WineBottler can pack your Windows .exe software into Mac .app package and convert .exe or .msi into an app. It even provides options to install special dependencies.
Like PlayOnLinux, PlayOnMac is a graphical software built on top of Wine. It aims to ease the installation of Windows programs and games on Mac OS.
You can use PlayOnMac to easily install many apps and games on Mac OS, without the need of making changes to Wine’s configuration for that particular program. PlayOnMac takes care of Wine’s settings so that you don’t have to configure them manually, and you can enjoy using the software or game.
Q4Wine is a QT4 graphical user interface for the Wine compatibility layer. It’s available for GNU/Linux and FreeBSD. It helps you to manage Wine prefixes and installed applications in an easy-to-use graphical interface.
Q4Wine lets you easily handle tasks for creating and managing Wine prefixes, controlling Wine processes, making backup of prefixes, and many more tasks that would otherwise not be as easy to handle.
Wineskin, which also uses Wine to run Windows applications, is a porting tool. It allows you to port Windows applications in Mac application bundle wrappers, which can then run on Mac OS X and even shared with other Mac users. It works with Snow Leopard, Lion and Mountain Lion.
Wineskin uses a customized version of X Window System, known as WineskinX11, to provide the graphical user interface for Windows programs on the Mac OS X. Once you have created a Mac application bundle of any Windows program, you can easily run it on your Mac OS X just like any other native software. For more info, check out the documentation.