Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Apple Safari on Windows

Yesterday at Apple WWDC 2007 Steve Jobs announced that Safari is now available as a public beta on Windows. Since I like using Safari on my home Mac I figured I'd give it a try so I've been using it for the better part of a day now.

Subjectively Safari on Windows appears to be snappier than Firefox. I prefer the interface to IE and for the most part Firefox, but that is just my preference. I've had a few crashes, one I reported to Microsoft, but overall it is a good experience. I find it a little chunky over Remote Desktop.

In-line finding is a pretty sweet feature. I wish Mac apps on Windows would addopt the Windows shortcuts or at least give you the option to choose the Mac or Windows shortcuts. When I'm on Windows I want to use CTRL + F4 to close a window, but I don't want to use the Command + W (or on Windows it's CTRL + W).

You might like it, you might not, but I'd say it is worth the download to at least have a look.

Update: A review of Safari on Windows from ars technica was just published. So head over there to read what they think.


Unknown said...

Why did you report Apple Safari crash to Microsoft?

Xepol said...

I've tried it and I have to say that I don't really like the interface.

I found dragging items on the button bar to be very VERY unintuitive, with no idea what the end result would be. There is also no way to arrange items in side the button bar menus. Disappointing.

I found rendering to be a little ugly, and the decissions to render gifs as they stream in was very early 90-ies.

Of course, the config dialog was very early 90-ies too. Talk about a lack of features.

Pre-OSX, the nicest thing I heard said about MacOS was that it was like a bike with training wheels you couldn't take off. The safari browser feels a little like that too.

As for rendering? Aside from the early partial gif rendering giving a feel of immediacy, I found nothing about it was faster than IE, and it rendered a few things... Well, perhaps wrong is too strong, as Safari passes more standards compliance tests than IE, let's say "unsually".

Irregardless, I welcome Safari to windows platform, as it will FINALLY light a fire under the IE team's butt when it comes to standards compliance, and Safari itself can only get better from here.

Maybe once it does, I'll give it a serious second look, because from what I saw, I prefer it Firefox.

Chris Bensen said...

dmajkic, I reported the error to Microsoft because they asked for it. In Vista there is an API to generate those reports which is a much better approach because I want the exceptions.

Chris Bensen said...


The bookmark bar you are refering to acts differently in OSX. I don't really like how that functions on the Windows beta either.

Anonymous said...

Safari has a small bug icon next to the URL bar which is useful for reporting bugs. It might not give the developers the full crash infomration the crash report you sent to Microsoft does, but at least it will go directly to them :)

It also lets you attach a screenshot of the program, which is handy if you're reporting a non-crashing bug like a rendering error.

Btw, I'm using it to post this comment, and with the exception of an odd rendering problem with embedded video I've had no problems at all.

Chris Bensen said...


I saw that button yesterday. However both of my crashes did not allow the use of that button. One was a hang and then I had to kill the process. I let it run for about half an hour before killing it hoping it would come back. The other crash was a Dr. Watson crash that allowed me to report to Microsoft. With any hope Microsoft will let Apple know about the crashes.

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