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Thread: Windows 8 and BibleWorks

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  1. #1
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    Question Windows 8 and BibleWorks

    I haven't followed Windows 8 stuff closely, but I have seen a few snippets about on blogs here and there. What I can't tell yet is whether Microsoft intends Windows 8 to work both on regular PCs and mobile devices. Obviously it will work on netbooks and the like, but is it also going to be available for smart phones or will that have a different operating system? If so, it's quite possible that with Windows 8, there no longer is a need to write a new app version of BibleWorks. If people are running Windows 8, no matter what device they have, it can run normal Windows programs.

    Obviously it seems this is where the trend is going: Mac OS and iOS are becoming more and more alike. I just am not sure whether Windows 8 is supposed to be just like Mac OS Lion and iOS (i.e. they're much more similar and Lion has taken features from iOS), or whether it will arrive at the next step where there aren't two operating systems, just one.
    Michael Hanel
    PhD candidate Classics Univ. of Cincinnati
    MDiv Concordia Seminary
    MA Classics Washington University
    Unofficial BibleWorks Blog
    LibraryThing!

  2. #2
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    Michael,

    A first look by a veteran computer writer just appeared today:

    http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9219996/First_look_The_two_faces_of_Windows_8_Developer_Pr eview_?taxonomyId=89

    It answers a number of your questions, though Gralla, the author, says things are still in flux.

    Dan Witte

  3. #3
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    Dan,

    I still couldn't figure out all my answers, but perhaps that's because not all answers have been given. It seems like reviews so far are saying that it looks like two different kinds of interfaces in one (if you use the Metro interface or go back to the more regular desktop screen). It does seem that it's much more tablet oriented, which would make it seem as though it's bringing the Windows operating system to tablets, but it's not clear yet if those will have to be re-configured to work as Metro apps or whether regular Windows programs will also work.

    I also found this review helpful.
    Last edited by Michael Hanel; 09-14-2011 at 01:17 PM.
    Michael Hanel
    PhD candidate Classics Univ. of Cincinnati
    MDiv Concordia Seminary
    MA Classics Washington University
    Unofficial BibleWorks Blog
    LibraryThing!

  4. #4

    Default Bibleworks is not going to run on Windows 8 portable devices.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Hanel View Post
    If so, it's quite possible that with Windows 8, there no longer is a need to write a new app version of BibleWorks. If people are running Windows 8, no matter what device they have, it can run normal Windows programs.
    Bibleworks is not going to run natively on any platform that does not include an intel processor. Bibleworks owners have made it clear they are not willing to invest in new portable technology. It is written in Visual C++, compiled for Intel and uses the Windows API.

    Windows 8 may run on devices utilizing an ARM processor, but unless virtualization is utilized, legacy Windows/Intel programs (like Bibleworks) are not going to run without being ported or rewritten.

    Just because the display on the screen may look similar on a Mac and an iPad, does not mean the processing that goes on behind the scenes is compatible. Cross platform code is being executed on portable devices with ARM processors by using portable programming languages such as Objective C (Apple), Java (Android), and .NET (Microsoft).

    To make a long story short, *IF* Windows 8 is released with the ability to run legacy Windows/Intel code (like Bibleworks), it will in all probability be done via virtualization. Virtualization is a real and viable solution on servers and PC's with lots of memory and hardware virtualization built into the processor. The performance is not likely to be viable on a low power portable device with an ARM processor.

    Even if virtualization were a technical possibility, Intel has made it clear that they have no intention of allowing their competitors to virtualize the Intel instruction set on their ARM processors. Presumably Intel has enough Patents and Lawyers to stop this dead in its tracks if any attempt was made.

    It's no secret that Microsoft is working on a tablet user interface experience for Windows 8. This new user interface will run on both Intel and ARM chips (obviously), but Intel has confirmed that while the x86 version of Windows 8 will obviously be able to run the vast collection of legacy applications, the ARM version will not. "Our competitors will not be running legacy applications. Not now. Not ever," James said.
    http://www.osnews.com/story/24758
    If Microsoft did come up with a way to do it, it would be a pleasant suprise. But given Microsofts track record in the past, it is not likely. The purpose of Windows 8 is not to allow people to reuse their old legacy software. It is to make money for Microsoft. There will no doubt be a port to ARM of MS Office and anything else that will help them catch up in the portable markets. There is talk of a Windows 8 beta being shipped soon, it will be interesting to watch the fallout.

    As far as Bibleworks on a portable device, all you can do is hope for an Intel based tablet or portable device that can run Windows. And that being the case, there is no point waiting for Windows 8.

  5. #5
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    Interesting. Clearly I don't know enough about how Windows works with different processors. I guess we still have a lot more time to see how it develops.
    Michael Hanel
    PhD candidate Classics Univ. of Cincinnati
    MDiv Concordia Seminary
    MA Classics Washington University
    Unofficial BibleWorks Blog
    LibraryThing!

  6. #6

    Default More info

    Although Windows 8 will run on both Intel and ARM chip architectures, apps will have to be recompiled for the latter; there will be no virtualisation of Intel apps to run on ARM chips, which are already used in Apple's iPad, Android tablets and HP's discontinued TouchPad.

    Furthermore, applications for the ARM version of Windows 8 will only be available through the "Windows Store" and only apps compiled to use its "Metro" touch interface will appear there.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology...ft-tablet-apps
    This pretty much sums it up regarding Bibleworks on ARM. Not going to happen.

  7. #7
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    Apparently I thought Windows 8 was going to be more revolutionary than those descriptions make it sound. At least I know it's an upgrade I don't have to worry about.
    Michael Hanel
    PhD candidate Classics Univ. of Cincinnati
    MDiv Concordia Seminary
    MA Classics Washington University
    Unofficial BibleWorks Blog
    LibraryThing!

  8. #8
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    Default BibleWorks on Windows 8

    Quote Originally Posted by johns View Post
    Bibleworks is not going to run natively on any platform that does not include an intel processor. Bibleworks owners have made it clear they are not willing to invest in new portable technology. It is written in Visual C++, compiled for Intel and uses the Windows API.
    Johns, this is not really an accurate representation of what we have said. We have said that we will support Windows 8 on all platforms that it runs on. We have also said that we have avoided expending effort to develop for portable devices until the technology is more mature and it becomes clear what Microsoft is doing. We have never said that were are not willing to invest in new portable technology. That is actually the opposite of what we have said. We have just said that we are commited to the Windows platform and will follow where it leads. It all depends on the needs of our users and on market forces. In short, we will do what we need to do to enable users to run BibleWorks on portable Windows 8 devices. How long that will take depends entirely on what Microsoft does, and what development tools they provide, and it is way too early to make any firm pronouncements. We don'tknow the answers to those questions and you don't either. So please try to avoid putting words in our mouth.

    Mike Bushell,
    BibleWorks, LLC

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MBushell View Post
    Johns, this is not really an accurate representation of what we have said. We have said that we will support Windows 8 on all platforms that it runs on. We have also said that we have avoided expending effort to develop for portable devices until the technology is more mature and it becomes clear what Microsoft is doing. We have never said that were are not willing to invest in new portable technology. That is actually the opposite of what we have said. We have just said that we are commited to the Windows platform and will follow where it leads. It all depends on the needs of our users and on market forces. In short, we will do what we need to do to enable users to run BibleWorks on portable Windows 8 devices. How long that will take depends entirely on what Microsoft does, and what development tools they provide, and it is way too early to make any firm pronouncements. We don'tknow the answers to those questions and you don't either. So please try to avoid putting words in our mouth.

    Mike Bushell,
    BibleWorks, LLC
    My knowlege of what has been officially said by Bibleworks owners and staff is limited to this forum and the website. If you have really said all those things, I was unaware of it. My comments were based on the official Q&A response which is linked to in every thread I have read asking about portable devices:

    Periodically customers enthusiastic about BibleWorks suggest that the company market an implementation of BibleWorks on a handheld device, such as a smart phone (Android, Blackberry, iPhone, etc.) or tablet (iPad, etc.).

    We don't intend such an implementation that would be limited to a subset of BibleWorks function. Development and maintenance of a subset implementation would increase BibleWorks staffing and hence costs to our customers. And we don't think customers familiar with full BibleWorks would be satisfied with it.
    http://kb.bibleworksllc.com/ikb/ques...?questionid=11
    The rest of the page goes on to explain that "... it is necessary that the Windows implementation on such devices handle all device functions adequately without requiring BibleWorks modification(i.e., the separate BibleWorks implementation we wish to avoid)."

    If your position on this issue has changed, I applaud the change. However this response (dated August 10, 2011) is what people find if they seek your official statement. And it says clearly that the intention is to avoid "modifications" to Bibleworks. There will be no "separate Bibleworks implementation". This is why there has not been an iPad or Android app. And it logically follows that since the new Microsoft developments would require the same modifications (a complete rewrite is probably more realistic), there will be no "separate Bibleworks implementation".

    My response was based upon this position, so I honestly do not understand your claim that what I have said is not an accurate representation. Perhaps you have made other statements that I have not seen.

    To summarize, the official BW response is that there is no intention to develop separate code in order to port BW to any portable device that is unable to execute code targeting an Intel X86 processor which uses the Win32 API. There was no port to iPhone, iPad, or Android because that would require rewriting the program. Now that the details of Microsofts new "Metro" platform are being revealed, it is clear that it is not going to run legacy Win32 Intel programs (the OP's original question).

    Windows 8 is not a new version of Windows, it is really the merging of an ARM based touch interface ("Metro") with traditional Windows. On a PC, There is still a real Windows OS underneath, which runs Intel based processes. New Metro based apps will run on both the PC desktop and portable devices.

    The only real difference between Microsofts Metro (Windows 8) and iOS or Android is that Metro Apps will also be able to easily be run on a PC.

    Quote Originally Posted by MBushell View Post
    We have just said that we are commited to the Windows platform and will follow where it leads.
    Now that you have said it, you will have to recognize that with Windows 8, there is no longer a single Windows platform. Windows 8 is actually two different OS's. The ARM version is targeting several different hardware manufacturers, and none of them can run Intel code. The ARM version will not run programs written to use the Win32 API (like Bibleworks). The hope that legacy Win32 code is going to run unmodified in a touch based interface such as Metro seems to be dead now. Hackers are doing it using Wine on Android, but the legal issues would prevent Microsoft from doing it.

    I think Microsoft is finally making a good move in its mobile strategy. The same apps will run on the mobile device and the PC. And the PC can still run legacy code. Times are changing. The way we use computers is changing. The computers themselves are changing. And the way software is written and used is changing too.

    If the official statement has changed, please direct me to where I can read it.

    Thanks,
    John

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