Should Apple make Safari for Windows? If it’s better for Mac users might it be better for Windows us

“The next complete release of IE is not slated to ship until 2005 — a geologic age in Internet time. And if past patterns hold true, most users will not upgrade to Longhorn until 2007 or even 2008. What are IE users to do in the meantime? Stagnate,” asks Stephanie Losi for E-Commerce Times.

“Not likely. A giant, gaping void has opened in the browser market. In the high-tech world, giant, gaping voids don’t tend to stay that way for long. A market vacuum is like catnip — and even in the low-margin browser arena, it is hard to imagine that no one will be interested in all that potential market share,” Losi writes.

“Who will step up to the plate,” Losi asks? “Safari, Apple’s browser for Mac OS X [is] perhaps the most interesting component of this discussion. According to published reports, Microsoft’s stated reason for exiting the Mac browser arena is that Safari is a better choice for Mac users. Safari is not currently available for Windows, but a case can be made that Apple could benefit from porting it to the Microsoft platform. After all, if Safari is a better choice for Mac users, it could be a better choice for Windows users, too.”

Losi writes, “True, Safari on Windows would not have the extra speed gained through OS X integration, but it would be an actively updated, in-development product for older versions of Windows — something IE is not anymore. The idea of moving forward and using the latest features and standards — tabbed browsing, pop-up blocking and spam filtering, to name just a few — instead of marking time might appeal to businesses and individuals alike.”

“Porting Safari also would be beneficial as a way to familiarize Windows users with the look and feel of Apple products. iPod for Windows was a first step in this direction, and when the iTunes Music Store for Windows is launched this fall, it will be another. If Windows users become well acquainted with Apple’s interface, they will be far more willing to consider a “Switch” when it comes time to replace their aging PCs. Anything Apple can do toward that goal seems worthwhile to me,” Losi writes. “In the meantime, the browser market hole gapes. For those who do not relish the prospect of upgrading to Longhorn to access the new version of IE two years from now, other, more immediate and interchangeable alternatives exist. The identity of IE’s heir should become apparent in the next few months.”

Full article here.

21 Comments

  1. Apple should do this, it will be easier to convince customers that their next computer should be an Apple when they are already using a lot of apple programs – but they should keep some of them apple only so there is a srong reason for a windows user to switch. Since Safari is at the core, open source, then it would be a good choice for windows.

  2. There are already plenty of alternative browsers on windows that have tabbed browsing and popupblocking. They barely have any success. A better GUI won’t make the difference. Btw, IE may not make a big release available yet, but they will probably do enough little upgrades. Just like Safari won’t be 3.0 tomorrow, but will have little updates.

  3. I agree with Zoidberg – there are plenty of alternative browsers for windows – Mozilla works well with my PC at work – I installed it myself and it is way better than IE

    Why the hell would Apple (who are fighting to make profits) produce a browser for Microsoft (who report over 25% profits compared to income) and their operating system. It makes no sense – ipod and itunes software for windows are so that Apple can sell their hardware to windows users. Porting Safari is simply a waste of time and money.

  4. Absolutely. The problem isn’t that there are no other browsers for PC users, it’s that most PC users don’t know what a browser is, and those that do don’t know which one they’re using, and those that know which one they’re using don’t know there’s anything else available. This is only going to get worse when it’s integrated into the OS.

  5. It’s futile. And here’s why:

    Let’s assume Apple makes Safari for Windows and it’s a quick success. Gobbling up 5-10% of the PC browser market in a year or so. M$ will take one look at this and send out a poison-pill Windows update making Safari buggy and useless.

    It’s their classic strategy and nearly impossible to thwart.

    Not to mention the only reason IE is successful in the first place is because it comes standard with windows, and the vast overwhelming majority of PC owners don’t even know you can get other browsers, or really don’t care enough to try other things.

  6. I think they should:
    1) it will draw the attention of potential switchers since it will provide proof that Apple is really to make better software in a much smaller package.
    2) Since Apple is totaly standard compliant, it gives webdesigners the best testing environment.

  7. How about temporary return (usage) to something we hate:

    Instead of: Site best viewed using IE.

    use: Site best viewed using a w3 compliant brower. Click here for details.

    Clicking on the link brings us a list of compliant browsers for both windoze and Mac OS, with download links. Possibly a paragraph explaining what w3 standards are. If the problem is that windoze users don’t know there are alternatives, then letting them know can start the effort to loosen that chokehold M$ has on browser development. But to make this really work, put some reeally cool CSS Level 3 stuff in there. Browser sniff to inform the windoze user that they are missing out on some cool stuff and let the curious nature of humans take over.

    Hey, sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander….

  8. BULLSHIT! Apple should focus on making software for the Mac, not spending resources on windows. Apple has to convince users to switch, that’s quite right, but they couldn’t do that with just another browser. With a piece of brushed metal look you can tease maybe a consumer user. But what Apple really needs is the big firms to commit to mac.

    Apple would better spend time and money on a software that helps windows developer to port their windows code (i.e. VBA, Borland Delphi) to macintosh. Especially big firms like banks or insurance companies are simply not able to switch to mac because they invested millions in their inhouse developed windows software. If they had a mean to keep these investments alive on the mac platform, that would increase their probability to switch far more than a sluggish piece of brushed metal browser does.

  9. Not gonna work. Microsoft is killing the stand-alone IE browser. IE will be a part of the OS, just like they wanted it long before. Most PC’s won’t get other browsers (even though they will be available) because it will be built into the windows they open up. This feature is there already, only now it will be the only way to go.

  10. iLife for Windows $99. Safari, iTunes, Quicktime Pro and yet to be released Apple Office competitor. Coupon inside for 10 free songs off the Apple music store. Remember� Microsoft does not need to lose for Apple to win. At least not yet. It’s much better to have a ton of PC users purchasing iPods and Apple software than nothing at all. It’s a profitable market share category which Apple has the power to command.

  11. There are “packages” that you can use which use IE as the core (http://www.myie2.com). These offer a lot of features (I use it as my standard browser) that I’m sure Safari also has, and perhaps a few that Safari doesn’t. I’ve never used Safari, so I don’t know; however, as MyIE2 isn’t a “mainstream” browser, it does not have the advantage of being known to most people.

  12. I hope before Apple makes Safari for Windows 98+ it will release a version for it’s 20 million mac OS9.2.2- Users minus a few features with advertising for upgrading to jag in thier newest machines upon opening at the apple site which can not be defeated, OS9 users will put up with that for a fast browser and apple would get free advertising.
    a no brainer

  13. i don’t think it’s really too much of a good idea. i might even be a mac user, but i don’t really care for safari at all. i just use mozilla. there is a lot of pc users that will get a ipod, but will just stick to windows. i don’t think a safari release for windows will bump up anything for apple.

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