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Yesterday, Steve Job as part of his keynote at the Apple World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) announced a version of the Apple Safari Browser for Windows.

Job’s was honest and admitted that 4.9% of the market is currently Safari and he would like to increase that amount. So it doesn’t take a genius to work out that the Mac has a larger share of the PC market than 4.9% so many Mac users must be using something other than Safari and to hazard a guess I bet it’s Firefox. So I see the release of the Safari browser as a way for Apple to stem the tide toward Firefox rather than taking on IE. If Safari can take some IE scalps along the way then this is perhaps seen as a bonus but not the core objective.

Many companies (such as fully support Safari on the Mac already but this is a choice if this decision was down to pure economics it’s pretty clear that we may not as many of our customers don’t use Safari.

After a few rudimentary tests it’s pretty clear that the Windows version has plenty of errors that the Mac version doesn’t suffer from but I must stress that the Windows version is only in BETA so clearly Adobe (who are writing the port) have some way to go. Saying this the Safari Windows version is receiving a mauling in the Blogsphere and seen as fair-game because it is a public release. Perhaps Apple would have been wise to keep the browser further under wraps until it was more mature, but like I said it’s still in BETA and because it holds that moniker I’m going to give it the benefit of the doubt but it’s not going to enjoy any development to support it until there is version release.

I am very disappointed that Safari does not take any notice of your windows theme settings and is Mac OS X in style. It would give me greater confidence if it took more notice of the base operating system and my personal settings.

I do think the release of Safari is a good thing for us the consumers as more competition can only be a good thing but it does muddy the waters for Developers as we now have yet another browser to support and there isn’t enough hours in the day already. This situation will only subside once all browsers commit to adopting the same standards (and their versions) in a timely fashion however waiting for this to happen will be like waiting for Goddo.

Anyway, I know the web browser is affectively the user’s window onto the web and the greater the share the greater the influence on the web but for the majority of users it makes little difference if they use Safari, Firefox or IE so the real battle will be fought in getting the majority to switch … so this would be a good point to say Apple has iTunes! So iTunes + Quicktime + Safari download anyone?

Posted on Tuesday, June 12, 2007 3:35 PM Main | Back to top

Comments on this post: Apple’s Safari Browser for Windows is in the wild!

# re: Apple’s Safari Browser for Windows is in the wild!
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If he's quoting Net Applications figures at, then anything-else-on-Mac would presumably be (Mac OS+MacIntel-Safari)=3.95+2.51-4.82=1.64%. That would still be nearly 75% of Mac usage share going to Safari.

Anything else is down in Linux territory of bumping along the bottom of the graph.

I do have serious misgivings about this data, however. The obvious way to detect a 'unique' user is by their IP address as seen by the server; this has the advantage of knocking out multiple hits, but the serious disadvantage of rolling up hits from multiple users using the same OS behind the same NAT, or using a limited pool of public IP addresses for systems that aren't always-on. This ends up meaning that the minority systems are over-counted.

Apple's market share, i.e. share of new computers purchased, is around 2.5%. It has been increasing recently, but it would have to be higher than their existing market penetration to positively affect that usage share. One of the figures has to be wrong, and the market share data reported by the analysts is based on numbers from retailers.
Left by Mike Dimmick on Jun 12, 2007 10:40 PM

# re: Apple’s Safari Browser for Windows is in the wild!
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I think the release of Safari for Windows is as much about Safari being the browser on the iPhone as anything else - certainly I'd be doubtful if they're really expecting to make too much of an impact on the PC.

They needed a Windows version to support app development for the iPhone - since they had it, they may as well release it to the general public too...
Left by Richard on Jun 12, 2007 11:40 PM

# re: Apple’s Safari Browser for Windows is in the wild!
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With regards to your comment about ignoring your settings the other thing it is totally bypassing is Cleartype in favour of the same font rendering techniques that Apple use on the Mac (check out the discussion of this over at Coding Horror - It certainly produces a noticeably different rendering of pages - try loading up something like the BBC News site in IE7, Firefox and Safari.
Left by Richard on Jun 13, 2007 1:17 PM

# re: Apple’s Safari Browser for Windows is in the wild!
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I've also noticed that Leopard isn't getting a smooth ride either which is a shame.

But I did laugh out loud when I read ... Leopard = Mac Vista!

Left by Dave Oliver on Jun 13, 2007 1:37 PM

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