Apple ports Safari to Windows (and inflatable camouflage rocks)

It's IT Blogwatch in which we ask: Why? Why would anyone think Windows users need another browser? Not to mention an unusual Cold War missile defense strategy...

Gregg Keizer saw it happen:

For his traditional last-minute surprise near the end of the Worldwide Developers Conference keynote today, Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs announced that the company is releasing a beta of its Safari browser that runs on the rival Windows operating system.


In a brief pitch, Jobs claimed that the beta of Safari 3 is more than twice as fast as Internet Explorer on Windows XP, and 1.6 times faster than Firefox. "What we've got here is the most innovative browser in the world, and the fastest browser on Windows," said Jobs, according to a transcript posted to the Engadget Web site as the keynote unfolded.

Apple Gazette's first impressions were quick, but Safari wasn't:

I’ve only played with it for a few minutes, but it’s really kinda slow. The only Windows machine I have access to is a few years old, so it’s not a lighting fast beast, but Firefox 2 has no problems loading on it with lighting efficiency, so I have to wonder about those 1.6 times faster claims against Firefox in the Keynote…

Larry Dignan has a reviewy:

Safari on the Mac had its issues – some sites didn’t work and it seemed crashy at time. Apple gives a nod to that fact and allows you to submit sites that don’t work to Apple. Presumably these things will get fixed.  

Other nice features include:

  • The ability to open a tab in a new window.
  • An easy view of all your plug-ins, including ones you probably didn’t know about.
  • And the ability for private browsing.
Biggest gripe: Safari gives you no search box choices beyond Google and Yahoo.

Robert Vamosi disagrees:

On a Mac, Apple Safari excels in some important areas--speed, rendering, standards compliance--but offers very few plug-ins, doesn't preview tabs, and doesn't preview linked URLs. When the final version comes out, Safari 3.0 will likely compete directly with and make things harder for the Opera community, but will draw little from the existing Firefox and Internet Explorer user base.

Ryan Naraine smells blood:

... there’s already word that a memory corruption vulnerability has been discovered.


Apple is no doubt looking to take a bite out of that search-box advertising market that’s been so lucrative for Mozilla but if Safari on Windows is half as popular as iTunes, you can bet malware authors will be licking their lips.

Usrbingeek has a very good explanation:

The most logical reason behind this move is so that developers can use this version of Safari to test their web sites and Web 2.0 applications in Safari and make sure they’re fully compatible with the popular web browser (which up to now was limited to Mac users.)

Scobleizer sends greetings:

Welcome to the blurry, but fast, browser...

People don’t believe me when I say Microsoft’s font rendering technology is better than Apple’s. At least they didn’t until now.

Global Nerdy thinks differently:

Safari seems to render web pages in such a way that they’re more beautiful than the same versions rendered in IE and Firefox.


On first glance, I like Safari’s font rendering the best.

Tim Moynihan isn't looking at the words:

Because Safari is the application platform for the iPhone, Safari on Windows creates a much bigger pool of developers for the iPhone than releasing an SDK would. Making any site "iPhone-compatible" will be the hip thing to do, and developing for a touch-screen device could unleash some serious creativity. (Think of the possibilities for porn! Glorious, touch-interactive porn!)

Buffer overflow:

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Previously in IT Blogwatch

And finally... averting an atomic Pearl Harbor with rubber bubbles. Bonus link: Keynote Bingo - WWDC 2007

Computerworld's online projects editor, Joyce Carpenter, compiled IT Blogwatch today. Regular Blogwatcher Richi Jennings will return next week.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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