Safari for Windows

Apple announces a version of the Safari web browser for Windows. A public beta is already available. Jobs claims it’s twice as fast as IE. Hmm.

A lot of Windows users certainly have and use iTunes, but is that because they’re locked-in by their iPod, or because they actually like it more than Windows Media Player or WinAmp or the many alternatives? My problem with it is it actively breaks some of the Windows interface standards, and tries to pretend you’re using a Mac. Will Safari do the same? Judging from the video demo, yes.

And what syncing software will ship with the iPhone? Will it be something that tries to encroach on the contacts and calendar territory of Outlook/Outlook Express, perhaps?

PS. Perhaps iTunes users will not have a choice but to install Safari, just like they’re forced into installing QuickTime now: Mary Jo Foley notes: “Jobs said that Apple plans to use iTunes as a distribution vehicle for Safari for Windows. He noted that there are a million downloads of iTunes a day, with 500 million of those going to Windows machines.”

PS. Midday. Joel Spolsky rips into it: “…it takes an insane amount of time to launch: 57 seconds… By comparison, Firefox takes about 3 seconds and Internet Explorer takes about 2.”

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5 thoughts on “Safari for Windows

  1. Dave

    “My problem with it is it actively breaks some of the Windows interface standards”

    And Office 2007 doesn’t?


  2. daniel Post author

    I’ll reserve judgement on Office 2007, as I haven’t used it yet, but from the articles I’ve read, it bends them. iTunes breaks them, by doing stuff like having the active window’s title bar being permanently grey, not having a control box, and various other things to try and pretend you’re using a Mac when you’re not.

  3. Dave

    Well, OK, Office 07 doesn’t go that far.
    (I’ve not used or seen iTunes). But the decade or more of lessons from MS that
    ALL apps will have a File, Edit, …. Windows and Help menus at the top –
    because it makes all applications consistant and, by extension, easy
    to learn have finished.

    Even the simple act of going HELP => About to obtain from your
    user what version they have is broken….

    Maybe ultimately, this will be an improvement. Maybe. But for people
    experienced in older versions, there certainly is a learning curve
    not previously seen when moving from one version of Office to another.


  4. Chris Till

    >> “…it takes an insane amount of time to launch: 57 seconds… By comparison, Firefox takes about 3 seconds and Internet Explorer takes about 2.”

    Is that not like saying Office 2007 takes 10 minutes to launch and OpenOffice only takes 8 seconds.

    Would it be logical to suggest such a 10 minute launch of Office, or a 57 second launch of Safari, perhaps represents a problem with the setup in question rather than an officially intentional design of the product?

    I tried Safari on my work PC – launches in less than 2 seconds flat and the browsing speed has left me gobsmacked… pages appear INSTANTLY, I can’t count any render time at all. And I was impressed that Firefox was quick with its render speed, good god Safari doesn’t seem to have one… I just cannot get over how fast it displays pages, I hope to hell Safari 3 on the Mac will be of the same speed!!!

    That said, I will continue to use Firefox as my standard at the office – Apple’s history of release all its updates to WebKit have been outrageous in my opinion. Their nightlies certainly fix issues quickly, but we’re lucky if Apple push any updates to Safari out “at all” inbetween OS releases… and if they do it’s only an absolute subset of what WebKit has actually advanced to. So in the early days of Safari when your site had a quirk because of a Safari bug, best you could do is say “hey Apple have fixed it, but god knows what year that particular fix will ever reach your computer”.

    Ironically I did finally let go of Camino 6 months ago and switch to Safari on my Mac, but Firefox it is on my PC at work.

  5. Philip

    I’m sticking with Firefox for now because I don’t know how to make Safari block ads. But when I figure it out, and manage to get it to send the username and password into the work intranet properly, I’ll use it.

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