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Windows Safari: A fight Apple can't win

updated 12:10 pm EDT, Fri June 15, 2007

Safari Windows can't win

While Apple has been able to dominate market spaces in which it controls the device from top to bottom (iPhone, iPod, the Macintosh), the company may be taking a huge gamble with Safari 3.0 for Windows by entering a market space where it is on a level playing field. A Mike Elgan piece opines that Apple has essentially picked a fight it cannot win, having "uncharacteristically entered a mature market not created or controlled by Apple." Noting that security experts published information about some 18 security holes found in the new browser, Elgan says that Apple was chastised harshly by bloggers and other vocal Windows users.

Apple did, however, quickly issue a 3.0.1 release that fixed many of the reported security vulnerabilities. It should also be noted that the browser is a beta, and flaws are to be expected. One point of criticism, however, likely will not change much before Safari 3 for Windows ships as a final product: the Mac-likeness of the browser. Elgan says: "Windows can only be resized from the bottom-right corner. Safari uses Mac OS X font anti-aliasing instead of Windows' built-in ClearType, and fonts look blurry and all bold, all the time. Menus are hard to read. Safari uses its own, unalterable, nonstandard key combinations for things like flipping through tabs. The list goes on and on. [...] on a browser, Apple will need to do things the Windows way or get eaten alive."





by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. vallette

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    He's missing the point

    Apple ported Safari to facilitate iPhone development if they happen to get a few converts along the way it's just icing on the cake.

  1. nhmlco

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Define "win"

    First, I think your examples are poor, as Apple doesn't "dominate" the personal computer space. With your reasoning, I could say that Sony dominates the "Walkman" space. True. And meaningless.

    Second, I think you have to define what "winning" means to Apple. Already they have a million downloads of Safari/Win. Is that a "win"? FireFox seems to think they're competitive, and they have, what? 11%?

    All I know for sure is that Apple has a good reason for doing this... and that none of us has figured it out yet.

  1. chas_m

    Moderator

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Idiot

    Mr Elgan SOOOOO doesn't get what Apple is doing here.

    They have ZERO expectation of "competing" in the PC browser market. No interest and no expectation.

    What they ARE doing is introducing iPhone users to the full-size version of THE BROWSER THEY WILL BE USING. The job of Safari on the PC is to remove yet another barrier to PC people switching to Mac. Hello.

  1. tindrum

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    since they're forcing us

    Apple is forcing everyone to use Safari on Windows, unlike Microsoft, who really give you a choice whether to have IE on the system. Perhaps Apple is trying to expose Windows users to some of the features and differences in their version of an application, and provide another alternative, a standards-based one, to IE.

  1. cwasko

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Normalizing the numbers

    Apple could also be doing this to normalize the numbers better. I use a Mac at home and WIndows at work. I surf w/ IE at work and Safari at home. Thus, it makes it look like there is +1 IE user out there, when there really isn't. But, due to this, there is now -1 IE user...

  1. jpellino

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    you forget...

    ... that once Safari hit Mac OS X, Redmond waved the white flag and simply dropped development of IE Mac claiming there was no point in further development or distribution of the current or former versions.

    If they could "win" that fight, who knows.

    Calling any piece of software a mature market is a sign that this guy knows less than he thinks about software. The browser was "mature" with Netscape. Then it was "mature" with IE. It's now mature with four competing mainstream browsers (IE FF Opera Safari)?

    MP3 apps was a mature market - WinAmp was the last word. Then came iTunes.

  1. jmonty12

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Not just about the iPhone

    I agree with others here that say Apple isn't just trying to gain browser market share (regardless of what The Steve said.) Apple is working with Google, and the two of them are undoubtedly working on new technologies that will work with the browser, and Apple wants that to be available on the PC platform as well. Wait 6-12 months before giving Apple c*** about Safari on Windows.

  1. Rezzz

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    fonts

    Yeah.. Fonts are annoying on Windows. It's true. I also had a crash as Safari was attempting to negotiate my proxy server. Oh well.

    I do hope that Apple improves the browser on the Windows side. It's not like Apple to release a product that harms its reputation. Fit and finish are expected out of Curpentino.

    Even if this is for developers, that's not how Apple portrayed it. If they wanted it to be just for developers they would have placed it behind the Apple Developers website, not sandblasting it on the Apple homepage: "The world's best browser. Now for Windows, too. Download free for Mac + PC."

    Please bring the quality of this port up, folks.

  1. zerostar

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: normalizing the num..

    I agree, I have done the same thing with what I tmeans to all Safari users in mind. (all good things)

    I will also switch all of our terminal boxes to Safari by default once it is out of beta and has no major security threats.

  1. horvatic

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    They said that about the

    They said that about the iPod and the MP3 market. Look what happened? 53 times Apple was claimed to have been dead, out of business, finished, a failure. Look what happened? Stock is at record highs, the Mac is gaining marketshare, and the iPod and the iTunes music store is dominating the market world wide. Your claim Mr. Elgan can only be taken with a half a grain of salt as the past has proven quite different.

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