I downloaded it to give it a shot and so far I like it a lot. I have not tweaked it a lot, but it seems like a very good browser. I’d bet it will soon take over Windows based PCs like the iTunes program did. I don’t know if I am ready to ditch Firefox yet, but it could very well happen.
EDIT: Well, as with all betas, this is not perfect. I continue to crash Safari when using it to access my Charter One Bank account stuff online…
Color me surprised by the “zippy” comments–Safari 2 on Mac OS X 10.4.9 is by no means a speed demon, at least compared to the other options out there (e.g. Firefox, Camino, or the unofficial G4-optimized build of Firefox that I run). That said, I haven’t downloaded the Safari 3 beta yet–standard Apple practice for me is to wait a day or two for any The End of Life As We Know It issues to hit the blogosphere before I take the plunge–so your mileage may vary.
I use Opera on everything I use, PC, Mac, flash drive.
Even on my Mac I’m wary of switching from Opera. There are two main features that I use about every 30 seconds. First is searching right in the address bar. Second is the mouse roll clicking to go back and forward.
If Safari has these features, I’ll switch. Otherwise, I like right where I’m sitting.
Safari is pretty fast for me, I don’t think its as fast as people make it out to be though, (it only loads ~15sec. faster than my plugin infested Firefox). But I do like the clean look. One thing I would like to see added, is “recently closed tabs”, to recover a tab that was closed. And in the preferences have “Open link in new Tab”, I like tabe better than new windows. Its pretty good for a Beta though. No major bugs found yet.
I must say I really like it, save for a few things. No status bar at the bottom no more mousing over links to find out where they go, I guess? Also, no extensions (obviously) means no more FoxyTunes, Weather, etc. Just a nice convenience I’d gotten used to.
I’ll probably end up going back to the ol’ Fox for main web browsing, but the speedy and aesthetically appealing Safari works well for quick jogs (a quick email check or something), since my way-too-extensioned-out FF takes a bit to load.
To view the status bar, just go to “View” -> “Show Status Bar”. (It’s the same thing in Firefox.)
Here’s a few of my observations about it:
I have a few font issues on my main desktop computer with regards to Safari 3 beta. I had to remove one of my custom fonts (I never used it anyway) to get Safari to render [mostly] correctly. There are still a few sites though where I now get “invisible” text. Perhaps it’s because I have over a thousand fonts installed and another one of them is causing a problem…
They need to lighten up their UI, and make it more of a lighter color like Finder in Mac OSX Tiger or Leopard. It’s annoying to read the text on the status bar and tabs.
All in all, it’s cool and interesting. It has sweet CSS3 support, but it still needs a lot of work to get it out of Beta. Until then, I’ll keep using Firefox my primary browser, but I’ll still keep Safari installed.
The real question is “Why did Apple decide to do this?”
There isn’t a need to move their browser onto a Windows platform, there are already a decent general browser (IE) and one that can be finely tweaked to a users content (Firefox). Even Mac folks don’t consider Safari to be the nirvana of browsers. Apple will not capture market-share of anything by promoting Safari on a Windows machine. They would be much more effective porting their iMovie or iPhoto software instead – either of those could bring a market-share blip.
Apple pulled their OS programming engineers earlier this year off Mac OSX 10.5 to help get the iPhone out the door by the end of this month. More than likely, just as iPod uses iTunes on a Windows machine, Apple needed to have an interface to sync the iPhone, and Safari on Windows may be that software. We’ll find out on June 29.
What other reasons would Apple have to introduce a general browser onto another platform that already has multiple options for users? Where do you speculate that Apple is headed with this thing?
Daring Fireball, a Mac blog that I read, posted his theories. They make a lot of sense to me:
There are a bunch of good secondary reasons why Apple developed and released Safari for Windows:
More Safari users means better support for Safari from web developers. The more popular Safari for Windows gets, the less likely it is that a big new web app is going to be released without first-class support for Safari on day one.
Safari for Windows makes it easier for Windows-based web developers to write web sites that are optimized for Safari on iPhone.
The “show them how nice Apple apps are and some of them will decide they should just switch to a Mac” effect.
But the primary reason is simply money. Safari is a free download, but it’s already one of Apple’s most profitable software products.
It’s not widely publicized, but those integrated search bars in web browser toolbars are revenue generators. When you do a Google search from Safari’s toolbar, Google pays Apple a portion of the ad revenue from the resulting page. (Ever notice the “client=safari” string in the URL query?)
The same goes for Mozilla (and, I presume, just about every other mainstream browser.) According to this report by Ryan Naraine, for example, the Mozilla Foundation earned over $50 million in search engine ad revenue in 2005, mostly from Google.
Besides, they’ve gotten iTunes to spread like wildfire, why not Safari?