Apple to release Safari Web browser for Windows?

“Is Safari coming to Windows? There have been rumors floating around for a while that Apple might be porting its Cocoa language to the Windows platform which would allow WebKit, the engine behind Safari, to run natively in Windows,” Scott Gilbertson blogs for Wired News.

Gilbertson writes, “Now it seems that the Mozilla Foundation thinks a Windows Safari port is a possibility. Buried in yesterday’s tentative Firefox 3 wiki roadmap document is this line: ‘WebKit may be ported to Windows.'”

“With the announcement of the iPhone the possibility of a Window’s WebKit port does seem like it would make sense… Some people think Apple would be better off not porting its software to Windows and keeping the ‘Mac experience’ unique to their own platform, but as Apple becomes less a computer manufacturer and more a device manufacturer it might make more sense to strive for interoperability.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Bizarro Ballmer” for the heads up.]

51 Comments

  1. I don’t get the logic. iPhone has OS X/webkit. WIndows has iTunes, used for syncing with the devices (iPod, iPhone, Apple TV.) Where is the need for Webkit for Windows? Who benefits?

    This could be true, but there would be more to the story than what this Wired blogger puts forth.

  2. This is such a stupid theory. Why would the release of the iPhone mean Apple needs to make a Windows version of Safari? It’s idiotic. Notice the article doesn’t give any reasonable evidence to support this idea. Wired are a bunch of Monkeys.

  3. > Why?

    The article says it. Interoperability. iTunes is supposed to sync bookmarks from computer to iPhone. I suppose Apple could design it to sync IE or Firefox bookmarks, but there may be other new features for iPhone and Safari that would make it advantageous to have control of the device and software. With Apple, it’s all about control.

    Firefox is a great browser, and it is as good as Safari. Therefore, there is no great “keeping the ‘Mac experience’ unique to their own platform” advantage in keeping Safari Mac only. Creating a Windows version of Safari may be a good move at this point, and doing it on conjunction with the iPhone release will generate big interest.

  4. If I understand things correctly, iTunes makes extensive use of WebKit. This means that there’s probably already an internal build of WebKit for Windows. Beyond that, WebKit is based on KHTML, and anyone who wants can port KHTML to Windows.

    The rumors that Apple is porting Cocoa to Windows go way back, and have been pretty much completely debunked: it doesn’t make any business sense at all for Apple to release a version of Cocoa for Windows, because that eliminates one of the major selling points of the Mac. Developers would love it, especially if it was done with the usual standard of Apple software quality, but it would cannibalize Mac sales like nothing else has since the clones.

    So the summary of the summary is, the author noticed the ancient rumor about Cocoa for Windows and a line in a vague Firefox roadmap, and divined Apple’s strategy from those two bits of non-information. Brilliant!

  5. I have said for a couple of years that Apple should do this. They need more software experiences to entice people over to the Macintosh platform. Users can currently experience iTunes + iPod on Winblows, and a web browser makes most sense as software item #2 to be ported. Apple can claim to be the white knight – swooping in to rescue Winblows users from the crappy experience of IE 7.

    Go for it, Apple!

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