On March 27th, 2002, we launched CrossOver Office 1.0. That was a great day for us; it was when the 'modern' version of CodeWeavers was born, and when we were really able to start on our journey to bring Windows compatibility to Linux and Mac users.
It was also a very fun day. You see, I had started out with a business model that depended on Linux on the Desktop taking off, and that there would be a high demand by ISVs for software ports. We would make our living by helping perform those ports using Wine. Unfortunately for us, it turns out that Linux on the Desktop did *not* take off (we are still waiting for the year of the Linux Desktop), and so we were struggling. In fact, we had used up our fiscal cushion, and our last major contract had ended in January, so we were running on fumes when we went to ship CrossOver Office 1.0. I did not have the funds to meet payroll for March, and was looking at shutting down the company.
We did not know what to expect; would people actually pay money to support Wine? It really required people to make a leap of faith and offer us money to help fund our efforts.
Fortunately for us, the community supported us in an overwhelming fashion. In just 3 days we made enough to make March payroll and get us most of the way to April payroll. Back at that time, we shipped a CD with most of our orders. Each time that happened, we'd print a label on our old battle ax HP Laserjet 5. It was a joy to watch the printer churn out order after order. I distinctly remember gathering the whole staff at my house because we needed everyone's help to package up and mail out all of the CDs that were ordered that day; that was a great day.
And now our baby is all grown up. The user interface has gone from a simple tcl/tk interface to a sweet and polished Android interface
(and yes, Mac and Linux users, we know you want some of that UI love - we're working on it). We've gone from supporting a small handful of official titles - Word and Excell 2000, Lotus Notes, and Starcraft, as far as I recall, to supporting far more applications than we can count. We've taken Wine from a powerful hobbyist project into a truly substantive alternate to the Windows operating system.
I look forward to the next sixteen years - it is going to be exciting to see if our installations on Chrome OS can begin to rival our Mac install base, and exciting to continue to close the gap with Windows, so that one day, everyone can just take Windows compatibility as a given.
I appreciate everyone that has supported us over the years, but I particularly appreciate the customers that kept us afloat 16 years ago, today.
And before I forget, we are celebrating this milestone with a special promotion. Check it out! For once we are discounting the lifetime version of CrossOver. But only for 24 hours!