Emulator Vendors Begin March Toward Windows 8
July 24, 2012 Alex Woodie
Rocket Software announced recently that its BlueZone and PASSPORT terminal emulators now support Microsoft Windows 8. Rocket is one of the first, but not the only, terminal emulation vendor that supports the new Windows OS.
Even though Windows 8 won’t officially ship until this fall, software vendors are able to test their wares against the Windows 8 Release Preview, which is currently available. Getting older emulation suites to run on Windows 8 is expected to be about as difficult as it was to get them running on Windows 7. The previous OS, Windows Vista, was much more difficult and posed a barrier for many emulation vendors with older code.
Rocket executive Sam Elias says BlueZone and PASSPORT customers can rest easy knowing their emulators have been tested and are fully compatible with the new Windows OS. “Earning Windows 8 compatibility for our Rocket terminal emulation solutions was important to ensure that users of Microsoft’s new operating system can continue to access their IBM and other back-end systems securely and reliably,” Elias states in a press release. Elias is Rocket’s vice president and general manager of application development, integration, and the modernization business unit.
BlueZone and PASSPORT support TN3270, TN5250, UNIX/Dec (VT), SCO ANSI, Unisys (T27 and UTS), and Wyse terminal emulation protocols and standards. BlueZone was obtained with its acquisition of Seagull Software, while the PASSPORT line was obtained with Rocket’s acquisition of Zephyr earlier this year.
Rocket claims to be the first emulation vendor to support Windows 8, but a quick check of the Microsoft Compatibility Center for Windows 8 Release Preview website shows that it’s not the only one.
Attachmate has tested several editions of Reflection Suite version 14 against the new Windows OS. However, it doesn’t appear to support Windows 8 with Attachmate Reflection for IBM 2011 (version 15), the most current emulator suite that includes 5250 and 3270 emulators.
Open Text is also listed as supporting Windows 8 with HostExplorer version 14, which the Canadian software vendor developed and shipped in 2009 specifically to take advantage of new features available with Windows 7, such as jump lists and multiple document preview.
There was no listing for IBM‘s IBM i Access on the Windows 8 Release Preview compatibility website.