In among all the excitement of getting Scrivener 2.0 ready for release (which, to remind you, will be out in late October, just in time for NaNoWriMo), we have another rather large announcement which we’ve been keeping under wraps for the past couple of years:
We have a Windows version of Scrivener on its way.
You can find full information on our Windows page, but in short we’ll be releasing a public beta of the Windows version in late October and hope to have it on sale in early 2011. We have screenshots and a five-minute preview video available here:
If you’re a Windows user, I recommend heading straight over there and skipping the rest of this post, because all the exciting stuff for Windows users can be found there and the main thing I want to do here is reassure existing Mac users that, despite this bifurcation, we remain as dedicated as ever to the Mac platform.
The Windows version has actually been in (secret) development for the past two years, but it is a completely separate development effort by another developer who has now thrown his lot in with L&L. Lee Powell was a Mac user of Scrivener who approached us back in 2008 wanting to create a Windows version, and his enthusiasm for Scrivener and writing made it too good an offer to pass up. Meanwhile, I’ve been beavering away on Scrivener 2.0 for the Mac, looking up from my code occasionally to see the fantastic progress he was making. We agreed from the start that the Windows version should initially have the 1.x feature-set with some of the Scrivener 2.0 interface refinements, so the Windows version will lag behind the Mac version for a while. And of course, given that I’m the Scrivener designer, program for the Mac only, and have no intention of going back to Windows, the Mac version will continue to forge the way. (So if you’re one of those who bought a Mac just to use Scrivener, don’t fear – you’ll still be using the best version on the best platform!) At no point will I hold features back just because we can’t do it on the Windows version (after all, Scrivener 2.0 harnesses plenty of Mac-only technologies, such as QuickLook), and my hope is that the two versions will grow to differ to best suit their native platforms.
All of which is my way of saying that I hope Mac users won’t resent us too much for having someone work on a Windows version. It’s all a little nerve-wracking because the community that has built up around the Mac version is brilliant, and I hope it continues.
At this point, I know what a good bunch of you are thinking:
“What! A Windows version but no iPad version? How could you?”
Er, yes, I know. That’s timing for you. The fact is that the Windows version has been in the works for over a year before the iPad was even announced. The only reason the Windows version came about was that we were lucky enough to be approached by someone passionate about Scrivener and about taking it to Windows – I had no interest in doing it myself. And that is what we are hoping will happen with the iPad version, too. In fact, we already have someone in-house (known to anyone who visits the forum) who will be looking into the iPad version in much more detail over the next year, once 2.0 is out and stable. Some initial design work has been done, but at the moment the person involved is so bogged down in documentation and website overhauls that he hasn’t had as much time as we would have liked to start in properly. So it will be many months before we have any news on this score (we kept the Windows version secret for two years remember :) ), because if we do it we’d much rather take the flak and eventually release something well-thought-out and integrated with existing versions than try to rush things.
That said, as I’ve mentioned before, Scrivener 2.0 for the Mac has some great syncing features that will allow you to take your notes with you on the iPad, which for many will obviate the need for a dedicated version entirely. Next week we hope to post a preview video showing how you can sync a Scrivener 2.0 project with notes in Simplenote, so if you are one of those hoping for a good way of going between the iPad and Scrivener, stay tuned.
In summary: We’re excited about Scrivener 1.0 for Windows and Scrivener 2.0 for the Mac, and can’t wait to get them into users’ hands. And a massive thank you to Lee, who has done such a superb job on the Windows version.