CodeWeavers and CrossOver: An Introduction and Beginnings

15 February 2008 by Jeremy WhiteJeremy White

Welcome to our first public blog post!

We plan to use this blog as a tool to share news tidbits and thoughts that don't fit into formal announcements or press releases.

My hope is to share our thinking and plans as they evolve. I also hope that this will help spur folks to write to us to share ideas and thoughts on how we can do a better job. While we try to have a broad range of forums, both general and specific to applications, you should always feel free to write me directly at anytime at jwhite@codeweavers.com.

With this first post, I wanted to start with a look back, and share my story and the story of how CodeWeavers began our mission.

I have always been a self-confessed computer geek; my passion for programming and computers started as I'd crouch at the Radio Shack typing out programs on a TRS-80. It blossomed as I worked on a wide range of diverse and interesting computer systems. In the 90's, I was distressed by the rise of Windows as the dominant operating system. Not so much because I felt that Windows was so bad, but more because its monopoly position was sucking all the fun out of computing.

Imagine if you will for a moment a car afficianado who is told that the only car anyone will be allowed to drive is a Buick Riviera. Nothing particularly wrong with a Buick, but wouldn't it be nice to take a Corvette out once in a while? That's how I feel.

I founded CodeWeavers in May of 1996. I wanted to do technically challenging work and work with great people. In 1997 I discovered - and then fell in love with - the Wine Project. I was captivated by the idea that Wine could remove the Applications Barrier to Entry and thus make it possible for people to use any operating system they wanted. And it was such an audacious and impossible task that I couldn't help but be enchanted.

And so in 1999 I reinvented CodeWeavers to focus on the Wine project. We were fortunate to have Alexandre Julliard, Wine's leader, join us, and he was followed by many of the veteran Wine contributors.

Since 1999, then, we have worked long and hard to fulfill the promise of Wine - to make Unix-like operating systems into fully Windows compatible systems.

We started in 2000 with a shot of venture capital that let us explore a variety of business plans. Then in 2002, we launched the first version of CrossOver Office, which was the basis for all of our CrossOver products. Luckily, CrossOver was a success (especially since the venture capital had run out :-/),and we have been able to survive and thrive on the income we get from CrossOver ever since. I remain grateful to each and every person that buys a copy of CrossOver and thereby enables us to keep on doing the work we do on Wine each day.

I am deeply proud of what we've accomplished - Microsoft Office and many other productivity applications run cleanly in Wine. Many games and demanding multimedia appications work well in Wine. And every day Wine supports just a little bit more; every day I get a report from someone that their favorite application "just works". Further, I'm also deeply proud that we've been able to do this, all the while supporting the Wine Project and Free Software by contributing all of our Wine work back to the Wine project. I'm tickled when I see someone has been able to use our work in some creative and powerful way - that is the power of Free Software, and I'm thrilled that we've been able to contribute so much.

Finally, I'm most excited that all of our hard work means that Wine is on the verge of being declared '1.0'. That is, Wine is nearly good enough to start people thinking that they don't have to buy Windows to run their favorite Windows program, and that perhaps they don't have to buy a Windows PC at all.

I can't help but hope that, in some small way, we are contributing to the greater diversity, vibrancy, and overall joy in the computing world.

That is why I am here, and that is what I fight for every day.

Thanks for listening. Stay tuned for my next entry, when I sketch out our road map for 2008.

Cheers,

Jeremy

About CodeWeavers
Founded in 1996 as a general software consultancy, CodeWeavers focuses on the development of Wine – the core technology found in all of its CrossOver products. The company's goal is to bring expanded market opportunities for Windows software developers by making it easier, faster and more painless to port Windows software to Mac and Linux. CodeWeavers is recognized as a leader in open-source Windows porting technology, and maintains development offices in Minnesota, the United Kingdom and elsewhere around the world. The company is privately held.

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