Codeweavers and Ximian separately announced software that serve as vital intermediaries between the Linux and Microsoft application worlds.
Last week, Codeweavers announced software that eliminates the need for a Windows operating systems licence and a Windows emulator, called CrossOver Office.
Typically, Linux users who want to run popular Windows-based applications must install a Windows emulator, licensed copies of the Windows OS, and any additional applications. CrossOver Office allows users to go directly into Office applications or Notes, which helps speed deployment and eliminates the cost of an emulator, company officials said.
"Making it simple to use, Windows software on Linux helps knock down a big barrier to growth of the Linux desktop," said Rick Lehrbaum, executive editor of DesktopLinux.com. "This will help a lot of organisations choose the power, flexibility and value of their Linux desktop."
The company plans to market the product to corporate users who are thinking of migrating to Linux, IT consultants who focus on desktop management, value-added resellers, and Internet appliance and thin-client users.
In addition, Codeweavers plans to release software this year that will allow other popular Windows-based applications to run under Linux, but White declined to specify what those applications will be.
Ximian has launched Ximian Connector for Microsoft Exchange and Red Carpet Corporate Connect, a Web-based service that provides users with centralised software maintenance and version management of Linux workgroups.
Ximian Connector, a client-based product, serves as an extension to the company's Evolution suite of groupware products that enables Linux and Unix users to improve management personal information as well as to collaborate with Windows-based colleagues using Exchange 2000.
Through the Connector, Evolution will function as an Exchange 2000 client, allowing users to manage e-mail, calendars, group schedules, and address books using their existing Exchange 2000 servers.
Some users like the pairing of Ximian's open source technologies with proprietary products, such as Exchange, that are popular among many Fortune 1000 companies.
"Ximian Connector is the missing piece of the puzzle for our development staff using Linux workstations," said Andrew Lozier, vice-president of Next Dimension.
Corporate Connect, which can run several different Linux distributions including those from Red Hat, SuSE, Mandrake, and Yellow Dog allows administrators to update systems automatically or on demand using Linux operating system distributors as well as application developers.