Apple releases Safari browser beta for Windows

At the World Wide Developer Conference today, Apple CEO Steve Jobs revealed a launch date for the iPhone—June 29—and showed features from Apple’s upcoming MacOS X 10.5 “Leopard” operating system, as expected. The folks at Engadget have detailed coverage of the keynote here, but one of Jobs’ talking points was surprising: Apple is launching a Windows version of Safari, the flagship browser that’s bundled with MacOS X.

In its Mac-only state, Apple says Safari has already reached a 5% market share, and the company wants it to grow further. To achieve that goal, Apple company has introduced a public beta of the Windows version of Safari. The software can be downloaded from this page, and Apple claims most of the same benefits as the Mac version: fast rendering speed, clean user interface, built-in RSS feed support, pop-up blocking, and so on.

Safari for Windows boasts very much the same user interface as its MacOS X counterpart, which gives it a very non-standard feel in Windows. There is no minimize effect in Vista, the browser window has no edges to grab onto, and features like auto-scroll don’t work. Font rendering is also Adobe Reader-like and doesn’t seem to use the standard Windows ClearType antialiasing. Nonetheless, the browser is quite fast: it seems to be a few seconds faster at loading the TR front page than both Firefox 2.0 and Internet Explorer 7.0. If Apple makes its user interface more complaint to Windows UI standards, this browser may very well catch on.

Comments closed
    • HotToddy
    • 12 years ago

    Maybe Mac OS on a pc? Introduce parts of it first then the whole thing ?That would be pretty funny though i’d probably look in to it. Just for a change of pace

    • Hellsbellboy
    • 12 years ago

    I don’t know any website developers that are wasting their time testing and fixing their code to run on Safari. It’s just not economical when 90+% of the world is using FF/IE4,6,7/and even Opera. Unless it’s a site specifically for Apple.

    Personally I hate iTunes, i’m often stumped trying to figure out the logic of it and how to do even the most simple things.

      • Plinth
      • 12 years ago

      I share your sentiment on iTunes

    • maroon1
    • 12 years ago

    I have tried it now and I can tell you this is one of the worst browser I ever used

    First: You can’t read Arabic website with this browser.
    Second: Ctrl + scroll doesn’t work with this browser.
    Third: It is not as fast as they claim
    Forth: The interface suck compared to firefox and even IE7

    So, no Apple need to fix many things in safari if they want to compete with firefox or even IE7

    • PrincipalSkinner
    • 12 years ago

    Everyone needs another browser. Just as much as they need eye cancer.

      • emkubed
      • 12 years ago

      I don’t need eye cancer, but I have eye cancer. Thanks a lot.

        • PrincipalSkinner
        • 12 years ago

        No, you don’t. You are just an ass.

          • wesley96
          • 12 years ago

          Not only is he just but also not human? 😉

    • gecko
    • 12 years ago

    so is it faster than opera ?

    • Stijn
    • 12 years ago

    I just tried Safari on my Windows XP Pro machine, and opening a tab causes it’s to crash.

    I don’t like the font rendering, and what’s worse, my own website (www.musicjunky.be) is completely unreadable (no text?!?).

      • End User
      • 12 years ago

      Your site looks fine under my copy of Safari for Windows.

    • ante9383
    • 12 years ago

    It’s all nice and pretty, but it keeps crashing!!!

    edit:

    honestly, at this stage I think it’s a buggy piece of sh*t.
    I try to import Firefox bookmarks from an html file – it crashes.

    I try to open a new bookmark folder – it crashes.

    More random crashes abound.

    Note: I’m a Mac AND XP+Vista user, so I’m no Mac hater.

    • A_Pickle
    • 12 years ago

    I can say that, at 120DPI, this browser doesn’t scale well. Wait, I take that back. It doesn’t scale… AT ALL. Nice, Apple. Nice. I’m also somewhat taken aback by the speed allegations — it took forever to load the Apple start page, which is busy and stupid — even worse than Internet Explorer defaulting to Live.com.

    I find that resizing the browser is quite choppy, akin to Trillian 3 in Vista. Tabs don’t close with a middle-click, and I’m unable to do a CTRL+MouseWheel to dynamically resize web text — which is necessary because my DPI settings make everything small (yet Safari doesn’t seem to scale with it… at all).

    Also, when I tried to install a new search engine (one which I have on Firefox 2 and IE 7, it allows me to search Newegg from… any page… not a new feature Apple…), Safari gives me a pretty error window which specifically says: “You need to be using IE7 or Firefox2 to add a search engine. You can also install search plugins by using the drop down menu to the right of the search box.” Unfortunately, there isn’t a drop down to the right of the search box, nor does there seem to be a way to install new search plugins at all.

    I note that the settings dialog isn’t in Tools –> Options, where Windows applications should have their settings dialog located. Nope, it’s definitely in Edit –> Preferences. Thanks, guys, thanks a bunch. 🙂

    “The World’s Best Browser.” Amazing, Apple, simply amazing.

    Steve Jobs: “Well, 4% of the world’s computer users really like our browser. I guess it must be the World’s Best Browser, or that’s what we’re going to call it, because we’re Apple!”

    • PetMiceRnice
    • 12 years ago

    I just find it kind of…interesting that Apple would be keen on entering more and more of the PC market like this given the commercials they air regularly on TV. Even if the iPhone is a factor.

    • Saeghwin
    • 12 years ago

    I don’t see any speed boost over Firefox. I’m pretty sure it’s a couple seconds slower actually. I do like Safari though, but it’s definitely better fit for Apple’s own OS.

    • Severus
    • 12 years ago

    I’ve been switching (slowly) from Firefox to IE7 . FF and vista just don’t play nicely, I’m sick of restarting my browser three times a day as its memory leaked or decided to chew 100% of one core of the CPU.

    This is slick, but I’m not seeing anything compelling to make me consider it over IE7.

      • Flying Fox
      • 12 years ago

      The bad TR ad that eats my FireFox CPU% has the same effect on the Safari beta as well. It’s not the browser’s fault, it’s Flash. 😡

        • Severus
        • 12 years ago

        Yeah I’m familiar with Bad Flash Syndrome, which is why I use flashblock, so I’m pretty sure that my FF issues don’t stem from flash… I can open up my usual suite of a dozen or so tabs, use them for an hour or so, walk away for an hour, and come back to discover that my whole system has slowed to a crawl. Browsing the same sites in IE (with the flash turned on as I don’t have an IE7 flash blocker) doesn’t cause the same problem.

        I actually think its Javascript related, as JScript heavy sites seem to most reliably cause the problem.

        • DukenukemX
        • 12 years ago

        What adds on TR? I don’t see any adds.

        Oh yea that’s right. I have Adblock plus for firefox. It blocks all those annoying adds. Silly me.

          • Forge
          • 12 years ago

          Dude, it’s been repeatedly stated in the past that while TR can’t tell you not to block the ads, it’s counterproductive and damaging to the site and Damage’s pocketbook.

          Posts advertising or advocating ad blocking in the past have been nuked and/or deleted, and I won’t be surprised nor upset when yours joins them.

    • Darth Willis
    • 12 years ago

    Reading over all the posts on the subject, it’s obvious that most of the people here are missing the big picture with this move. By releasing Safari for Windows, this increases not only Apple’s mind-share among Windows users, but it launches a multi-pronged attack that might erode Microsoft’s foothold as well.

    1) By introducing Safari for Windows, it gives Windows users another taste of the Mac desktop. Many people here mention that they dislike iTunes and Safari under Windows due to not adhering to Windows UI standards.

    This is exactly what Apple should do, and why iTunes is so popular with most average Windows users. It’s simple to use and has a clean interface, which is rare with most Windows software. By showing how simple Apple’s apps are to use in a sea of inconsistent Windows UIs, it warms the user up to Apple’s software and OS. As for Windows UI standards, I have to ask /[

    • SGT Lindy
    • 12 years ago

    Well so far on my Vista notebook……

    Its not faster than IE,

    the fonts look like crap compared to IE7,

    my companies Exchange\OWA switched to basic mode (active X)

    I cant even log into the the SSL Sharepoint site and work….it just sits there.

    Lastly I cant resize the windows save for the lower left corner.

    Ummm NO THANKS.

      • SGT Lindy
      • 12 years ago

      Moved to right location….

      • Corrado
      • 12 years ago

      Sharepoint doesn’t work on ANYTHING but IE as far as I’ve experienced. When I worked for MSFT, it sucked having to use IE to enter my time cards and expenses.

    • odizzido
    • 12 years ago

    Once they fix it up I would be quite willing to give it a shot. I use firefox only because it sucks the least.

    • WaltC
    • 12 years ago

    I think it’s relevant to consider for a moment the proposition that nobody who uses Windows is locked into a single browser, regardless of what their browser of choice happens to be. Since that’s true, it gives us great incentive to properly dispose of the heretical idea that has been with us since Jim Barksdale decided to give up on Netscape product development and lobby Congress, instead: that is, that it’s /[

      • YvonneJean
      • 12 years ago

      While it is possible to use more than one browser per computer, I would venture to say the majority of users do not. I myself will only use one per computer, and I believe I am closer to Joe-Blow end user than you. They still make up a very large portion of computer users.

        • WaltC
        • 12 years ago

        But my point is, how can you possibly say that “you know” that most people wind up using a single browser to the exclusion of everything else? I mean, /[

          • indeego
          • 12 years ago

          My God, man, is there really that much to type about in regards to this subjectg{

      • sativa
      • 12 years ago

      I think you’re forgetting that marketshare in terms of copies sold doesn’t equate to computers that browse the web. We have tons of servers that run Windows 2003 that don’t access the web at all — and most of them that do use port 80 only access Windows Update.

        • WaltC
        • 12 years ago

        /[

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 12 years ago

      If you use two browsers then each browser isn’t 100% of your market share. They each the percentage that you use them

        • WaltC
        • 12 years ago

        /[

      • Flying Fox
      • 12 years ago

      Technically it’s always possible to run another browser. We know that.

      The problem is the bundling and that all important desktop icon(s). Back in the nineties it was the fact that there’s that convenient icon on the desktop that helped IE win the war. People are just lazy, that’s a fact too.

      The other problem, which has been semi-addressed by Microsoft with the final DoJ ruling, is the “Set Access and Default Programs” option. It basically allow users “a way” (they certainly didn’t make the UI intuitive to use/change away from the default) to change whether clicking on a link will launch the other browser. For the most part this change worked. I have one machine with FireFox set as the app to handle links and it worked until I click a link in MSN Messenger. So not all its own software obey that setting.

      • SNM
      • 12 years ago

      I don’t know how Apple got its market-share numbers for Safari, but I do know how the industry as a whole gets them: they poll servers and see how many page hits or unique IPs they get over a time period from each browser. It’s not based on downloads or computers sold, it’s based on how much time is being spent in which browser.
      So really all your rants are, well, against a measurement situation that doesn’t exist.

    • Gandhi
    • 12 years ago

    Two reasons why Safari was reelased on the PC. one, as mentioned already, the upcoming iPhone.

    Second, and more importantly, is the long term view. Remember the Netscape browser wars 10 years ago and the viscious reponse from Microsoft. Microsoft saw that more and more apps were moving to web, and they wanted to make sure the Microsoft software was in the middle of it.

    Well, that past is here today and becoming a reality. Look at Flickr, Myspace, Google Calender/Docs/Spreadsheets, or Salesforce.com on the business side. The importance of the OS on the desktop is becoming less and less important. And this is one reason for Vista’s lethargic adoption rate (that and the absurd marketing mix w.r.t. to thier offering matric).

    If you paid attention to what Jobs previewed for Leopard today, Dot-mac will be playing an important role in th very near future. Everything from sharing photos to accessing work documents and files, its moving to the web. Google and Apple are collaborating closely on this, and they see the importance of the browser.

    If you also look at the rumblings coming out of the Mozilla group, Firefox is moving in the same direction w.r.t. web integration and applications, just from the opposite end.

    The immediate impetus is iphone of course, but this will be a very interesting battle to watch long term. Microsoft on one side, and all the open-source browsers on the other end. And if there is enough marketshare by the opensource browsers, may be finally Microsoft will finally start following web standards, and web developers will actually start implementing them, rather than only checking for IE compatibility.

    • adisor19
    • 12 years ago

    It’s not a bad try for a web browser considering it’s still a beta. I’ll definitely install it as a web development test browser and as an alternative if FF happens to crash on a certain site like it happens rarely.

    Adi

    • 5150
    • 12 years ago

    I seriously doubt this can do what Firefox can.

    K THX BYE

    • PRIME1
    • 12 years ago

    Safari is based on Konqueror’s KHTML engine from KDE.

    • snowdog
    • 12 years ago

    I tried for 30secs and then remembered why I won’t use anything but Firefox: Flashblock.

    I can’t stand lame crap dancing all over my screen uninvited. No flashblock, no browser.

    • nonegatives
    • 12 years ago

    I think these two statements are mutually exclusive:

    “the browser is quite fast: it seems to be a few seconds faster at loading the
    TR front page than both Firefox 2.0 and Internet Explorer 7.0”

    “If Apple makes its user interface more complaint to Windows UI standards,…”

    If they make it compliant, I think it would lose what ever advantages it has. Maybe MS will try to license it and kill it like they do everything else.

      • CasbahBoy
      • 12 years ago

      q[

    • Thresher
    • 12 years ago

    The purpose of this release has more to do with the iPhone than anything else. The iPhone will have a Safari Lite interface. Folks that want to move bookmarks back and forth will be able to do it much easier than if they were trying to move them from IE or Firefox.

    I’d really rather see iChat ported over. iChat is probably the most innovative IM client available, but it’s only able to play with other Macs. The Mac audience is growing, but my family is still PC only.

      • sigher
      • 12 years ago

      Why would it be hard to import bookmarks? they are exported as a standard HTML file, so you say apple is so inept they can’t handle html?
      Also if that was the reason they’d write a 10 line conversion utility rather than converting an entire browser of course.

        • Thresher
        • 12 years ago

        I am saying it would be easier.

        No conversion is easier that converting for the average user.

    • ThelvynD
    • 12 years ago

    I’ll still be browsing with a minority of folks with Opera as my browser.

      • eloj
      • 12 years ago

      We might be few, but such is the plight of every elite cadre 🙂

      • dolemitecomputers
      • 12 years ago

      Speed dial FTW 🙂

    • herothezero
    • 12 years ago

    Outside of web compliance benefits, I don’t see the point of running this on Windows, especially since the current build doesn’t work like a Windows application otherwise would.

    Firefox, anyone?

    • steelcity_ballin
    • 12 years ago

    Hi this is Pete on Safari. The text is crappy looking, the render speed I can’t agree with (emptied the cache on ie 6, 7, ff2, and opera, all of them load fast than this), I do not like it so far. I will give it time though!

      • Willard
      • 12 years ago

      I had trouble with the text too. Can’t tell if it’s better or worse. But I’m sure not used to it.

    • aarongobo
    • 12 years ago

    It says tiger when it should be leopard…

      • Kharnellius
      • 12 years ago

      Yeah, I was wondering about that. They are already on Tiger. The next OS is Leopard.

    • Jeratain
    • 12 years ago

    I honestly think it makes sense.

    “Let’s get those Windows users used to our UI and style of doing things. Let’s get those Windows users to realize that using an Apple is simple and doesn’t need to be complicated and have problems. Once we have them convinced, perhaps we can also convince them to buy a Mac the next time around.”

    I might not agree with those sentiments, but it’s just another way for users to possibly move over to that tree that has recently blossomed so well.

      • Vertigo
      • 12 years ago

      I’ll use Apple software at roughly the same time as I can resize a window from any edge.

    • nagashi
    • 12 years ago

    This is a huge deal for web developers. Testing everything on a mac is kind of a pain after I’ve already built/tested it for firefox/ie/opera on my windows machine. Being able to run all 4 (5 if you count the fact that I test on ie6 and ie7) is good thing

      • UberGerbil
      • 12 years ago

      ….assuming it renders the same on the Mac as on Windows. You’d hope so, but….

      • sigher
      • 12 years ago

      ha, why would web developers have to cater to apple that way? let apple make their browser compliant to FF/IE/Opera, I mean if you break things so much that it’s not even compliant to any of these then you might as well get out of the business altogether.
      I’d see a point if it was safari and ie but with 3 different engines that are so ubiquitous it’s only fair to expect that safari will keep up without needing special treatment.

    • Taddeusz
    • 12 years ago

    Well, I already found a bug. I’m at work on a Windows Domain and it doesn’t like our web filter proxy. It asks for my username and password and the crashes when I enter it.

    • DASQ
    • 12 years ago

    Firefox works great for me. I wonder why they even bothered.

    • Fearless Leader
    • 12 years ago

    1)Screen cap.
    2) Resize.
    3) paste bottom center
    4) goto step 2.

    At least, that is the way I’d probably do it.

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 12 years ago

      I’m assuming this is in reply to #13?

    • BobbinThreadbare
    • 12 years ago

    I’m skeptical that Safari has 5% of the market share. Mac OSX only has about 5% of the market share, and many Mac users use Firefox.

    So, unless the Safari users do quite a bit more browsing, this claim seems unlikely.

      • BlueDjinn
      • 12 years ago

      Market share of browsers isn’t based on the same criteria as OS’s or even hardware–remember, a huge number of Windows machines are actually servers or cubicle farm systems that are rarely used at all (a medium-sized office building could have 500 PCs of which only 100 or so are actually being used at any given time).

      If only 3 out of 100 computers are Macs (using Safari), but only 47 of the WIndows machines are used for web browsing, Safari will still have a 6% share of the browsers.

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 12 years ago

        I see. It’s more believable now, but I’m still skeptical.

    • DreadCthulhu
    • 12 years ago

    My guess is that Steve wants more people to run Safari, so that web site creators have more reason to test compatibility for it, thus enhancing the web browsing experience for Mac users.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 12 years ago

    I think the point is that since iPhone apps are going to be the web/AJAX variety, this gives iPhone devs a Windows tool to test their stuff without buying a Mac.

    The antialiasing was comforting to me – it’s the same as the text antialiasing in OS X.

    The rip-a-tab-off-the-bar feature to get it into a new window is really, really hot. easier to close a bunch of tabs just by ripping the one you want off onto its own window and closing the parent. 😀

    Complaints about Windows UI standards are…well..standard. Unless you meant “Compliant”. 😉

    This is also basically how iTunes for Windows works – if you can use iTunes, you can use this. I wonder how long it’ll be til there’s an iLife or a Logic for Windows and I can go back to using one computer…

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 12 years ago

      Or right click on the tab and do “close other tabs”..at least in FF.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 12 years ago

      Actually, I hate the way Itunes behaves. If I wanted it to act like Mac program I would use Mac OSX. I use windows, and I want all my programs to behave the same way.

      • emorgoch
      • 12 years ago

      I like the features of iTunes, I just hate the way that the UI isn’t Windows standard. It causes a lot of problems (slow resizing, slow refresh over RDP, occasional screen-blackening in Vista, etc.) Since they seem to be doing the same thing with Safari (I loaded it up in a VM), I don’t see any reason what-so-ever from the FF/IE combo.

    • Corrado
    • 12 years ago

    I’m down with this.

    • Buub
    • 12 years ago

    Another browser? Yay…

    Unless it can find a very unique niche to fill, I fail to see the point.

      • poulpy
      • 12 years ago

      Just thought I should point out that Safari is build upon KHTML part of KDE which makes it Konqueror’s brother. Free Software FTW! 😉

    • Patrickr
    • 12 years ago

    It’s like looking down a hall of mirrors!

      • Stijn
      • 12 years ago

      actually i wonder how they did that

      • CasbahBoy
      • 12 years ago

      That screenshot is comedy! Check out the right-side banner ads, I think they had to take screenies and upload them to the site a number of times (about six?) to do it.

        • Usacomp2k3
        • 12 years ago

        Except the 4th one has a different ad.

          • CasbahBoy
          • 12 years ago

          Yes. I know. Thats why I said to look at the ads, it shows that they didn’t just take one screenshot and Photoshop it or something.

    • axeman
    • 12 years ago

    Didn’t anyone tell Steve that the browser wars are over? What possible benefits are there to porting Mac apps to Windows? Won’t that just de-value the Mac brand if they start porting apps to Windows? As I see it Apple is a software company, the only reason they are getting away with overcharging for hardware is the fact you NEED it to run their software. But then again, Safari is just a browser.

      • Stranger
      • 12 years ago

      Kinda my thoughts.

      There’s no way I’m installing apple software on my computer. Ever.

      but I support the idea of a more diversified browser landscape.

      • flip-mode
      • 12 years ago

      The web browser is arguable the most important app on a personal computer. If Apple wants to get people used to the Mac interface and encourage people to “switch” then this is a good tactic to use in that effort. Just a thought.

      • StashTheVampede
      • 12 years ago

      Did you look at the default install? Quicktime and iTunes comes as part of the package — yet another method to introduce people to Apple products.

      Also, the iPhone works with Windows/Mac — you’re going to need to internet with a browser between a PC/Mac with the iPhone.

      • Flying Fox
      • 12 years ago

      q[

        • Sargent Duck
        • 12 years ago

        In his video appearance along side Bill Gates 2 weeks ago, Steve said that Apple was primarily a software company. And I can see that, since Apple doesn’t actually design or build any hardware themselves, except the cases.

          • Flying Fox
          • 12 years ago

          I thought I remember Jobs said before they are a hardware company. Argh… his RDF keeps changing people’s perception…

          Other than the OS, what other mass market software (I’m intentionally excluding Final Cut Studio and those “professional apps” here) Apple produces they charge for money?

        • albundy
        • 12 years ago

        “Actually Apple sees themselves as a hardware company.”

        hmmm… Intel Board and CPU, Seagate HDD, Hundai RAM, Sony DVD+RW…what hardware do they really make? Re-badging other company’s hardware makes your consumers look like fools when they think that they have a genuine Apple product.

          • willyolio
          • 12 years ago

          y[

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 12 years ago

            They don’t make that plastic, they have a company like Asus do it. Does Mac even do their own rebadging? I bet Asus (or whoever) puts the Mac sticker on it for them too.

      • Severus
      • 12 years ago

      As has been stated, the browser wars have finished their first battle but the war itself is only starting.

      The browser itself is no longer what it was in the late nineties – a single, standalone application, something akin to a word processor or image editor, suitable for one task only.

      The real browser wars are happening now, and are an extension of the OS wars by other means.

      In a world where web delivery of applications is the norm, having a competetive alternative browser is equivalent to having a competetive alternative OS. this is not only the obvious direction for apple to take, it is the only one.

      • Severus
      • 12 years ago

      Irony of ironies – My browser b0rked and multi-posted 0_o

      • Severus
      • 12 years ago

      Irony of ironies – My browser b0rked and multi-posted 0_o

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