Apple has just the Safari web browser for Windows as a beta download. They advertise it as being much faster than IE or Firefox, and after tooling around with it for a little bit, they seem to be right. Safari has been my browser of choice in OS X for a while now, and if the Windows version is as good, I may end up using it on Windows as well.
This maybe Apple’s way of giving Microsoft a healthy kick in the balls — imagine if every iTunes download comes with Safari and puts Safari as the default web browser in Windows, migrating all the user’s bookmarks and passwords in the process. That would have a major effect on IE’s marketshare, and quite possibly put Safari in the position of being the #2 (or even #1) web browser out there. If only they’d done something like that when I was in the web business my life would have been so much easier.
Apple keeps pushing the envelope more and more, and they’re reaching a point where devlopers just can’t marginalize Apple technologies any more. If the WebKit engine becomes the HTML rendering engine on the Windows, Mac, and iPhone platforms Apple will have taken a critical market for development and given Microsoft a real run for their money in the process. As someone who’s been an Apple fanboy for a while now, that’s exciting — and even Windows users will reap the benefits from having more choices and having Microsoft suddenly have to compete in the browser business. From either perspective, this new tech race is going to make the web browser business a lot more interesting…
(And yes, this post was written in Safari for Windows…)