Wish: Scrivener Windows RT App


I do a lot of my writing on a Windows Surface RT tablet. I have purchased the full version of Scrivener for my desktop computer, but I can’t install it on my Surface, because Windows RT is an app-specific OS and won’t let me install regular software. It would be just grand if there were an RT app of Scrivener so that I could more easily transfer my work between my Surface and my desktop!

I’m sure L&L would love to be able to offer Scrivener for Windows 8 RT, and Android and… and… but…

First hurdle - Windows 8 RT runs on processors that are markedly different from and incompatible with the Intel/AMD/etc. processors that ‘regular’ x86 compatible "Wintel’ Windows 8 and previous versions of Windows run on. That’s both good (lower power consumption, lower cost) and bad (apps compiled for ‘regular’ ‘Wintel’ Windows won’t work on the processors used by RT and vice versa). I wish Microsoft were a lot more up front about that. They had to pursue RT and the new Modern/Metro tile interface if they were to have a chance in the tablet/mobile market… but that brings some pain and confusion with it.
Sort of the same situation that exists with Apple for Mac vs. iOS (iPhone/iPad) apps, except that the difference in names makes the incompatibility gap clearer.

Second hurdle - Like anyone other than a few of the billion/trillion dollar corporate behemoths, L&L has finite resources and has to proceed platform by platform, as opposed to being able to simultaneously develop for/release to multiple incompatible platforms. To date… they have developed and released for Mac and ‘Wintel’ Windows (and Linux sort of unofficially), both having traditional keyboard/mouse/GUI environments… with first touch compatible version (i.e. physical keyboard and mouse not available or only optional) currently in development for iOS (iPhone/iPad). After that, seems reasonable that may see versions for additional touch oriented platforms (Android, Modern/Metro style Windows, …).

Till then, your options might include:

  • Using remote control software (for example, TeamViewer) on your Windows RT tablet to remote into and work on Scrivener on your desktop computer.
  • Replacing the Windows 8 RT tablet with a heftier (and more costly) Microsoft Surface Pro or other ‘regular’ "Wintel’ Windows 8 compatible tablet. Scrivener for Windows will run on them, but using the traditional pre-Windows 8 GUI rather than 8’s new touch focused Modern/Metro interface.
  • Using some other writing software on Windows 8 RT till then.

Hope that helps. Sorry, I get verbose.