– Apple’s Safari for Windows and Mac
– Firefox 3’s Progress
– Camino 1.5 for the Mac
In the wake of Microsoft’s IE7 update, other key browsers are revving in the near future. Both Apple and Mozilla are planning browser upgrades, and as you by now know, Apple’s Safari will be released for Windows too.
It’s great to see Apple planning new things for its browser, but it needs to make its product more mainstream on the Internet. If nothing else, Web development teams will be able to test to the Windows version of Safari before they release their code to their Web sites. Although in these betas, the Mac and Windows versions of Safari don’t always render Web pages the same way. Perhaps even more important, Apple’s stance that the iPhone display the exact same Web as other computers, and the fact that its browser is, of course, Safari-based, means that the offering of Safari for Windows will help Web development teams the world over inadvertently make Web pages work better on iPhone. Score one for Apple.
That said, the current beta of Safari for Windows isn’t a great Windows product. Hopefully Apple will attempt to pay more attention to Windows conventions before it ships the product. My guess is that it won’t, though. I don’t think Apple is out to dominate the end-user browser market. It has set it sights on winning the mobile market with iPhone. Lower-priced phones are needed to make that a reality, but Cupertino has a chance to do just that. It has definitely leapfrogged the competition with the iPhone. So look at Windows Safari as a building block for that goal, not something that’s truly aimed at browser market share.