snipshot_e4ga4g0iwpc.jpgI must admit that when I saw the news about Apple releasing a version of its Safari browser for Windows, I wondered why the hell anyone would care, unless they happened to be Apple devotees who wanted a familiar browser to use on a Windows box. After all, if you want an alternative to Microsoft’s Internet Exploder 7 (and who doesn’t), there’s always Firefox, and it does lots of things that Safari doesn’t, such as supporting plugins. And then after reading more about it, I realized — like Stan Schroeder and Scott Karp — that it is a kind of Trojan Horse, designed to enable developers to work on apps for the iPhone, etc. and thereby become a kind of platform for future Apple widgets and software. Smart.

For what it’s worth, I think Safari is cool and everything — although it has a kind of retro feel to me for some reason — but I will echo the comments of several people who say it looks kind of fuzzy. For my money, Microsoft’s ClearType makes a huge difference when it comes to readability of fonts — particularly at high resolutions — which is why I’m not a big fan of most Linux installs either.

But I have to say that Safari moves pretty fast when loading pages. And in my totally unscientific tests, it used substantially less memory than Firefox and somewhat less than Flock, but not as little as Explorer (which if I recall cheats a little when it comes to RAM usage). Still, I have to agree with Leander Kahney of Wired’s Cult of Mac blog — as a user, why would I bother with Safari?

About the author

Mathew 2430 posts

I'm a Toronto-based senior writer with Fortune magazine, and my favorite things to write about are social technology, media and the evolution of online behavior

4 Responses to “Safari: Didn’t get it at first, but now I do”
  1. A trojan horse it may be, but I think that it will be hard for Safari to win much share on Windows. It’s hard to displace the default. I was GM of Netscape, so I have some first hand experience in this….

    I blogged about this in Jan when the rumors first surfaced – click on the link below if you’re interested in more.


  2. for me, safari for windows is the worst product apple has released in a couple of years. it can’t handle international characters like french, italian or dutch websites. (even thought it’s ok if you have a US or Canadian English OS)

    some screenshots here

  3. I can’t figure out why they made it so mac-like that it doesn’t even give you sizing handles on the edges but forces you to resize only with the bottom right corner.

    At least I can tab to checkboxes and buttons with Win Safari, unlike on the mac (in both safari and FF, seems to be a mac thing). Everywhere but the mac, logins are username [tab] password [tab] rememberme [space-to-check] [tab] submit [space-to-press]. On the mac I have to leave the keyboard and navigate the mouse to the checkbox and button.

  4. I think you’re overestimating this. If they were really looking for a way into leveraging Windows as a development platform for desktop and mobile platforms they would embrace/extend Silverlight.

    This looks like a day late and a dollar short of a strategy.

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