Competition is an important part of all markets. It drives innovation, keeps prices down, and typically tends to ensure a quality product. Don't get me wrong, I think Crossover is fantastic software, but with Cedega pretty much being dead where is the choice in commercial Wine software? Lesser known than the two previously mentioned is Bordeaux.
Bordeaux is a commercial Wine software more similar to Crossover than Cedega in respect to the fact that it directly uses the Wine project. What makes Bordeaux worth taking a look at? Well there are a few things!
Firstly I would like to highlight the fact that Bordeaux updates their software regularly. The version I obtained to use for this review is the soon to be released 2.0.4, which ships with Wine version 1.1.41. The current release, 2.0.0, ships with Wine 1.1.36 (where is Crossover has been shipping with Wine 1.1.24 for sometime now). For those not familiar a newer Wine version typically means support for more applications and better performance for those that already ran in past versions. Worried about buying Bordeaux and then having an new version come out a couple months later? No worries, your purchase comes with free upgrades for six months after purchase.
The next wonderful things about Bordeaux is that just like Wine - they support most forms of Unix officially. Bordeaux is available for purchase for the BSD, Linux, OSX, and Solaris platforms (Where is Crossover only officially supports OSX and Linux even though they have unsupported BSD and Solaris builds). Bordeaux is also affordable, at 20$ for the Linux binary it is half the cost of even the cheapest Crossover product.
Now for the most important part of any review - the functionality of the product. While the list of software Bordeaux officially supports is not extremely large, they do support many of the key applications that most Unix users require from the Windows environment. These include (but are not limited to) Microsoft Office 2000/2003/2007, Photoshop 6/7/CS/CS2, Internet Explorer 6/7, and Steam. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the recently released new Steam GUI was near fully functional under this latest release of Bordeaux. In fact the only issue it gave me was a distortion of the tray image icon. I loaded up a few of my source engine games (L4D2, Team Fortress, Counter Strike: Source) and they all ran perfectly fine.
Bordeaux's GUI for installing and managing software is simple, but functional. It contains three main sections: Install Applications, Manage Wine, and Unsupported Packages.
The Wine management tab provides easy access to tools such as a command prompt, notepad, regedit, taskmgr, winecfg, and application un-installer. The unsupported packages tab allows for installing all of the various Winetricks packages into a given "wine cellar" (Bordeaux's version of the "bottle" or WINEPREFIX).
Over all Bordeaux works quite well and this 2.0.4 release is a step in the right direction. One key reason to pick up Bordeaux over Crossover is if you have need of both Steam and Office 2007 on your Linux install (A prime example for this is if you are a student such as myself and game occasionally while needing M$ Office because your school requires it). To have both of these applications supported under Crossover you would at least have to purchase their 70$ professional package versus the 20$ it would cost to have support for both these applications under Bordeaux.