I was one of those who downloaded Apple’s Safari browser the same day it was released, and re-downloaded copies again a couple of days later when the security update was released. I’ve been watching both Apple and several financial analysts with humor as Jobs’ fantasizes about Safari’s and Apple’s success with this effort. Everyone’s wondering why Apple did this, including me.
As a switcher who has become largely an Apple loyalist, I downloaded Safari more as a curiosity and "just to have it" instead of any intent to use it to replace either IE 7 or Firefox when I’m on Windows XP. Since I use Safari most of the time when I’m on Tiger, I’m well aware of Safari’s limitations. Part of my curiosity was to see if Apple might have fixed them in this newest version, whether on the Mac or PC side. They haven’t, and that means there is no chance Safari will change my Windows-based surfing habits.
No matter which operating system you’re on, Safari seems to have a problem with correctly rendering certain websites. It seems to have the most problem rendering sites that are largely Java or Flash based. Many of the critical websites I need for work and financial business fit that category; I mostly use Firefox for those (whether I am on Tiger or XP) and sometimes IE7 when I am on XP.
I can understand, too, Windows users bitching about Safari not importing bookmarks from other browsers. I’m not one of those who are going to harp at Apple about doing everything the Windows way when on Windows; I think that’s a ridiculous and very limiting expectation. In this case, though, I am having a hard time understanding how Apple left that feature out, especially when Jobs is making the ultimate fantasy talk about Safari taking over the Windows market. If that was really the case, wouldn’t Apple have included that feature in an effort to ensure users switched? That says to me that the talk of becoming a Windows giant is a smokescreen, and Apple had some other motive for doing it. I suspect it had to do with the iPhone and trying to give people not familiar with Safari on the Mac side a chance to use it so it wouldn’t hold them back. If it even factored into reasoning to purchase iPhone or not, that is. The reality is that while some of Safari’s features are pretty cool, most of those features (like tabbed browsing and fast rendering) exist in most other Windows’s browsers; and its infrequent but noticeable failure to properly render some websites makes it the little kid on the Windows block.
If Safari is Apple’s Trojan Horse, it’s about to get blown up as it rolls through the front gate!