Safari for Windows – No Really! It's Not WebKit!

From the “what the hell” department comes this: Safari 3 Public Beta. For Windows.

I’ll just make a linebreak and let that one sink in.

There. Now: what’s up with this? Is it an attempt to sway Windows users of iTunes? Is it a gift to web-developers hungry for developing crossplatform sites? Is it part of a bigger and currently veiled plan to enter the RIA (Rich Internet Application)—Adobe AIR, Microsoft Silverlight, Firefox 3 Offline Apps—market? Or is it trying to compete with IE7 and Firefox? Please, somebody tell me!

16 thoughts on “Safari for Windows – No Really! It's Not WebKit!”

  1. Jeff Croft says:

    It’s simply a development environment for iPhone apps. There are going to be lots of developers wanting to build apps for the iPhone, but many of them won’t have a Mac. This way, they can build them without needing a Mac or Safari.

  2. Joen says:

    Oh, of course. That makes sense. Even more so considering they’ve literally ported everything Safari does on the mac, including all the UI widgets and even the Mac specific font smoothing.

  3. I have a post coming out answering (part) of that question!

  4. And I can add, I lost part of that post due to the Safari Beta locking up!

  5. adam says:

    the mac specific font-smoothing really surprised me. i don’t really care why they did it, it’s still awesome.

  6. Brendan says:

    The font smoothing and speed certainly made it interesting.

    Developer or no, I can see it picking up steam as it’s surprisingly quick in the ‘doz environment, irrespective of iPhone.

  7. gareth says:

    its quick because its is a ram hog. the font smoothing looks bad if you have windows cleartype on as well.

  8. Joen says:

    the mac specific font-smoothing really surprised me. i don?t really care why they did it, it?s still awesome.

    its quick because its is a ram hog. the font smoothing looks bad if you have windows cleartype on as well.

    I’ll have to side with both of you. I think it looks great. But for the simple reason it looks “out of place” with all the other text on a windows box makes it look out of place and unfamiliar. Then again, it does give a “genuine” mac experience.

    Developer or no, I can see it picking up steam as it?s surprisingly quick in the ?doz environment, irrespective of iPhone.

    Yep, it’s definately not just a quick port of Safari.

  9. Vindberg, A. says:

    The browser is the future of development platforms and Apple want in on the action 🙂

    Are they not using WebKit??? Then what?

  10. Joen says:

    The browser is the future of development platforms and Apple want in on the action 🙂

    So you vote for the RIA camp?

    Are they not using WebKit??? Then what?

    Well, I suppose they are using WebKit. My point is, this is not just a port of the WebKit core, like Apollo or Swift are. This is a port of Safari, the whole browser, powered by WebKit.

  11. Jonas Rabbe says:

    I must admit my immediate reaction was pretty much the same as yours. Having considered their reasons, my guess would be that it is a mix of those you mentioned.

    Of course it makes sense to give people the tools to test iPhone widgets without having either an iPhone or a Mac. It is also reasonable that Apple might wants to be part of the RIA market. If they can get more users and make them comfortable with a Mac-like environment, then maybe switching won’t be that hard.

    I’m just happy my favorite browser can run on my workstation, although I guess I’ll wait until the public beta period is over. No reason to bring down my work computer with an unstable beta.

    That said, the one thing that bothers me about Safari is resource usage. It is a hog like you wouldn’t believe, and has taught me to close the browser when I don’t use it. I do think there are some quite severe memory leaks in Safari, I can’t explain the resource consumption any other way. Of course Firefox isn’t the savior incarnate (currently using 72 MB with two tabs open), but it is a lot better than Safari in that respect.

  12. Joen says:

    It is also reasonable that Apple might wants to be part of the RIA market.

    I agree, them pushing “web apps” for the iPhone certainly smells like it. Still, I don’t see a webapp playing DivX anytime soon.

    If they can get more users and make them comfortable with a Mac-like environment, then maybe switching won?t be that hard.

    Definately.

    I?m just happy my favorite browser can run on my workstation, although I guess I?ll wait until the public beta period is over. No reason to bring down my work computer with an unstable beta.

    I would, as you suggest, recommend you wait until it’s final. While it looks and acts like it’s supposed to, it crashes all the time.

    Firefox isn?t the savior incarnate (currently using 72 MB with two tabs open), but it is a lot better than Safari in that respect.

    When it comes to memory usage, it seems, IE7 is actually the winner! I hate to say it.

    Just remembered, it’s Opera of course.

  13. Joen says:

    This article on Apples Core Animation certainly speaks in favor of Apple entering the RIA market.

  14. Ok, well with the text issue some of you are having that you can’t see text on the UI (menu’s bookmarks, etc., I finally found a solution for!

    I had to go into “Local Disk (C:) > Documents and Settings > [username] > Local Settings > Application Data > Apple Computer > Safari” and delete “fonts.plist” so that when I restarted Safari it would recreate the file and correct the problem. Keep in mind that some of those folders are hidden so you might have to either show hidden folders in you Folder Options or type it in your address bar in explorer manually.

    Hope that helps, worked for me!

    Although I am still not seeing all the text in the websites though.

  15. mo says:

    Safari isn’t too keen with url tittle hints is it? or with offline browsing ??

  16. Anonymous Coward says:

    Take 2. Please fix your website’s Unicode support.

    If find it curious that you yell “No IE6!” while in IE6 the site is readable, while in Safari I don’t get yelled at but I have to scroll back and forth using the horizontal scrollbar to read posts. Lesson learned: if you suck at CSS, don’t use it.

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