Thoughts about Safari

Yesterday, as I’m sure you’ve heard, Apple announced a version of Safari for Windows and also revealed that Safari will be the platform for app development on the iPhone.

Josh Catone on Read/Write Web has a good summary.

Understandably there has been a mixed reaction to these announcements.

Here are my random thoughts:

Safari is right on the brink of becoming a browser that web developers need to care about. This might be enough to make that happen. That would take the tally to four (including IE6, IE7, Firefox). It’s like the 90s all over again, which will come as a bit of a shock to developers who grew up in the Internet Explorer dominated era.

Some people have questioned who in their right mind would run Safari on Windows? That’s an easy one to answer: all of the Mac fanboys who are stuck using Windows PCs at work will (cough Amnon, cough Tim) and, I suppose, all of the Windows developers creating apps for the iPhone.

I agree with Jason from 37signals. Creating a separation between the platform (the physical phone and the browser) and the apps which third-party developers create is a smart move.

What do you think?

In the last 12 months Safari has grown from 1.1% market share to 2.1%. This is a simple result of selling more Macs. According to this recent Bloomberg report Apple now has 7.7% market share in desktops and just under 10% in laptops, which is a lot more than I would have guessed. So, what does the future hold for Safari?

And, related to this: what will happen to IE7? As I noted yesterday, it’s grown quickly to ~30% in the first half of this year, but seems to have stalled there.

Let’s hear your predictions for the next 12 months.

We’ll come back to them in a year and see who was closest.

3 thoughts on “Thoughts about Safari”

  1. I am a recent switcher to the cult of the Apple, and I immediately started using Safari on Windows at work. It is faster than IE and Firefox on my work PC and I prefer the Apple way of font rendering. I find it easier to read.

    I don’t think Safari will make huge inroads in the Windows space in the coming year, although Safari numbers will grow a lot overall, due in most part to the iPhone.

    I am expecting to see a lot more people coming to the light in the next year or so. There is a vibe about Apple at the moment, and people are buying Macs to see what the fuss is, and staying. Especially now you can run Windows easily on the Intel Macs.

  2. I haven’t yet looked for the answer but I’m hoping that Safari/Windows will not be like IE5/Mac!

    We’ve got an iMac at the office purely to run Safari rendering tests, it’d be nice if we could get rid of it but it looks so pretty I don’t think we will.

    Who’s going use it? In the world of Rich Applications, the browser is the new API and Microsoft is pushing hard to get SilverLight into as many browsers as possible. (Did you notice the big browser love being handed out at the SilverLight launch?). Maybe Apple are considering taking on Flash, SilverLight and JavaFx and so need to roll out their framework onto the other 90% of computers? Idle speculation… In the end, choice is good.

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