If you are not one of the pack that gravitates toward a PC running one of the flavors of Windows, or a Mac enthusiast, you are likely running a version of Linux.
Suppose you want to run software such as Microsoft Office, Lotus Notes, or a Windows based game on your Linux computer. Is there a way to do this? The answer is most certainly yes. There are two possibilities. You could set up a separate partition, run a Dual Boot System and switch back and forth between your Linux and the Windows system. On the other hand, you could get a Windows Emulator program for Linux.
There are quite a few out there. All you need to do is do a Google search for Windows Emulators for Linux. One word of caution, not all of the emulators available on the internet will work with every Linux build. Some may be made exclusively for Red Hat, while others might only work on a Ubuntu system.
One of these is called; Cross Over Linux, and is designed by Codeweavers. This software will allow you to run productivity software, plug-ins, and games on your Linux. It integrates with Gnome, or a KDE environment. Cross Over will work on any x86 based Linux distribution and will allow you to use Windows plug-ins directly from your Linux browser. You just click on the application as you would if you were on a Windows system. It will also mesh perfectly with many browsers, such as Firefox, Mozilla, Netscape, or Opera. You can open Microsoft Word documents and Excel spreadsheets within your email client.
There are two versions of Cross Over Linux, Standard, and Professional. Standard is $39.95 and runs all Cross Over supported Windows applications and plug-ins. Professional is $69.95 and includes the above as well as games, and multi-user support, among other things. You can find more information about Cross Over Linux at: Cross Over Linux
WineHQ provides another emulation solution free. Wine is free like many Linux distributions, as volunteers write some of its source code. Wine allows Linux users to keep the stability, and flexibility of a UNIX based system, and still run many of the Windows applications that many computer users have come to depend upon. As Wine is open source software, you may extend it to suit your own needs. Wine may not support all Windows applications however. Here is the site to learn more about Wine: Wine
The last emulation software to be discussed is Win4Lin. It runs virtually all Windows applications on a Linux system. It is compatible with many Linux builds, (Ubuntu, Fedora, Open SuSE, Mandriva, and more)it allows you to run Windows as a desktop box, or full screen, or as a floating application. It doesn’t surrender control to a Windows environment, but lets you maintain the security and stability of your Linux desktop. It is one of the least expensive of the emulators (Wine notwithstanding) and runs just $29.99. Here is the site to look for more information about Win4Lin: Win4Lin
None of these solutions is perfect. The best suggestion is to look these over carefully before deciding which one, if any to use.