Safari on Windows… why?

A few of us at work were trying to figure out why Apple released Safari for Windows yesterday. We came up with a number of reasons against it:

  • It doesn’t (directly) make them any money.
  • It does cost them money. Aside from the up front costs of producing it, they’ll now enter the (endless) cycle of patching holes that allow people to exploit Windows.
  • Firefox is the most popular competitor to Internet Explorer, and it seems to have been stuck at the 15% penetration mark for some time now.
  • If you think there’s room for a browser that touts itself as being “really fast” but has lackluster support for 3rd party extensions, maybe you should have taken a look at Opera‘s success on the desktop. (below 1%)

But, of course, Apple also announced the the “API” for building iPhone applications will be Safari. So, that changed the game a little bit. Some reasons for putting Safari on Windows:

  • Legitimize the iPhone’s development platform. If it works in Safari, it doesn’t just work on the Mac, it also works on Windows, and on the iPhone.
  • Allow iPhone developers to develop on Windows. It’s a theory, although if that’s all they wanted, they wouldn’t need to bundle Safari with iTunes – they could just offer it as a download from their developer site.
  • Foster “the switch.” If I’m on a Windows PC and I use iTunes for my music, and Safari to surf the web and use a variety of web apps, maybe next time I buy a computer I’ll just get a Mac which has those familiar things on it.
  • Give them an avenue for pushing web standards. If they’re looking to extend web standards to provide for things like, perhaps, special mobile-based extensions, this again gives them a more legitimate/widespread platform for doing so.

I’m not thrilled, being a web developer, at having yet another browser-OS combination to have to test on. I also don’t think that it will be a successful/popular browser on Windows. I hardly even use it on my Mac (I prefer Firefox, in large part due to extensions). But, I’m interested to see what happens with it. Anyone else have some good theories?

One thought on “Safari on Windows… why?

  1. I’ve been doing some research, and I’ve noticed some interesting patterns.

    Steve jobs was born on Feb 24, 1955, this is 2/24/1955. Safari in hex equals: “73 61 66 61 72 69”. If you add these together, you get 402, multiply by 5 and subtract 55 (2 * 24 + 7) and you get … 1955! Which is Steve Jobs’ birth year.


    If that doesn’t convince you, notice this: Steve Jobs and Apple love talking about their Gel button look and feel. Also, the iPhone has a clear screen. Windows are clear, and have screen doors.

    I hope you see the connections.

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