Hullabaloo in certain quarters arises over Safari for Windows beta’s security, stability

“It makes perfect sense for Apple to release its Safari web browser for Windows, but the question is: What right-thinking Windows user would want it?” asks Wired’s Leander Kahney. “Safari sucks.”

MacDailyNews Take: Well, there goes whatever credibility that Mr. Charity Critic possessed in return for getting to play shock jock in text for a split-second. The big problem with Kahney’s view is that it’s untrue. Safari simply doesn’t “suck.” But whatever, no accountability, right, Leander?

Kahney continues, “A lot of Mac users won’t run the browser (I’m one of them), so why would anyone run it on Windows?”

MacDailyNews Take: If 18.6 million Mac OS X users run Safari and there are 22 million Mac OS X users, then 85% of Mac users run Safari – which coincides with our sites’ stats for Mac visitors and the browsers they are using. Sorry to disrupt Kahney’s stream of blather with the reality of basic math. We now return you to Kahney’s screed:

Kahney continues, “On my Mac, Safari is buggy and unreliable. It’s always crashing…”

MacDailyNews Take: We use Safari every day. This article and every article since yesterday afternoon has been posted via Safari 3 beta. It hasn’t crashed once despite being used on multiple Macs, each for hours with us juggling multiple tabs, switching apps, and visiting literally hundreds of sites. No, it’s not perfect: hence the “beta” designation. But, it’s certainly the best overall browser available today – we’ve tried them all – and very few people push their browsers to the extent we do. Kahney should offload some of those cheeseball Safari hacks he’s probably got running or get someone who knows what the heck they’re doing to look at his Mac because his situation as described, if true, is extremely atypical.

[Disclaimer: Having taste and brains, we don’t bother trying to use Windows beyond keeping up with Redmond’s latest in order to be able to accurately compare with Apple’s efforts. So, we haven’t yet tried Safari for Windows beta and it certainly could be crashing up a storm over there in hell — but wouldn’t that simply provide the warm comfort of familiarity to the sufferers?]

Full article, Think Before You Click™, here.

In addition, we have reports from both CNET and The Register, of course, questioning Safari’s security by quoting the likes of one David Maynor. That’s David “If you watch those ‘Get a Mac’ commercials enough, it eventually makes you want to stab one of those users in the eye with a lit cigarette” Maynor. Still trying to to fulfill your wants, David? Also of interest, please see the related article: SecureWorks admits falsifying Apple MacBook ‘60-second wireless hijacking?’ – August 18, 2006

CNET’s, Think Before You Click™, is here.

The Register’s, Think Before You Click™, is here.

MacDailyNews Take: Oh, from where, oh, where does this Safari for Windows FUD originate? We wonder.

Related articles:


  1. I like Safari and it is my default browser on the Mac. I will make it my default browser on Windows, but the reports about it being buggy are true. It crashed on me six times in six minutes–on sites with animated ads, animated content, or ads the covered the content. The bookmark menu displayed the Bonjour icon in front of “Bookmark Bar” instead of “Bonjour.” I was also able to close it without closing it–the window was gone but the task bar button was still there.

    Depending on what sites you visit, it either appears rock solid or unstable. I think the truth is somewhere in the middle between Kahney and MDN. I like it, and I’m going to use it, but I won’t make it my default browser on my Windows machine just yet.

  2. The real opportunity for Safari for Windows is incremental revenue to AAPL from Google and Yahoo searches performed through the browser.

    Consider the financials:

    Assume AAPL can earn $100 million in revenue from Google and Yahoo for searches performed through Safari on Windows. This is reasonable, based on the number of users, numbers of searches, and the estimated revenue paid to AAPL for each directed search.

    Assume further that the the cost to produce, market, distribute, and support Safari on Windows is contained to, say, $5 million (not unreasonable) or even $10 million (generous).

    Then that’s still a very significant profit for AAPL shareholders – amounting to roughly $0.10 increase in earnings per share on an annualized basis.

    From a financial perspective, increasing your earnings per share by $0.10 is a no-brainer.

    But like many of you, I suspect the real reasons Steve Jobs agreed to do this is as a stopgap for not having a developer story for the iPhone.

  3. I got dugg down on Digg for saying it but I’ll repeat it here:

    “Beta” as defined by Apple: Not ready for production, test software, may contain bugs, use at your own risk.

    “Beta” as defined by Microsoft: Golden Master, ready for production.

  4. Well

    1: Latest Safari for Mac – pop-unders have returned with a vengance.

    2: Does crash more often than earlier versions. But I think it has to do with the DivX plug-in and Quicktime as it happens the most here.

    YES, 3 is BETA, but what the major compaint from the security community is why hasn’t Apple used commonly gotten “futzing” software to uncover several exploits before release.

    It took only a few hours to locate several severe vunerabilities by the public, something Apple should have taken the time to do themselves and save the embarassment.

    If it took a few weeks to discover vunerabilites, then that’s understandable, but a few hours is just plain negligence on Apple’s part.

    And again, yes I know it’s beta, but actually it’s more like alpha.

  5. I loaded Safari 3 beta on my Gateway laptop running WinXP. It’s awesome! It’s much, much faster than IE and Firefox. The scrolling is also the smoothest I’ve ever seen. I also like how Apple incorporated the “unfurling” dialog boxes and pulsating confirm buttons. It’s just like on a Mac! Safari 3 also lets you move tabs around. I forgot to test the new in-line Find box with “highlighting”. I’ll have to try tonight when I get home.

    Once Safari goes gold, I’m deleting Firefox (which I usually use) and making Safari my default. I’ll keep IE for backup and just because it’s a pain to remove.

  6. Safari 3 for Windows maybe buggy, it may have security issues, I wouldn’t be surprised, for all I know so could the Mac version. It is Beta, I use it at my own risk. Perhaps it may not technically be ready to be called a beta, perhaps it would be better called an alpha, it’s all semantics. We all know that in the last few years the term beta has become synonymous with software that’s basically not finished, isn’t officially supported and as a result might crash/not work etc.

    I tried it at work this morning, it seemed stable enough for me, I use Safari on my Mac but am I going to use it on Windows? No. It’s not finished. Is it ok for testing your own sites? Maybe, it’s your risk. You can’t moan about it – not yet anyway.

  7. Apple’s Beta should be darn near perfect, especially because of their tactic of sudden announcement and the first impression it makes on the Windows crowd.

    Now all I hear is, “is this the legendary Apple security?”

    Apple had the perfect opportunity to carve out a substancial chunk of the browser market with the sudden strike opportunity, now people are going to avoid it like the plague.

    Remember how Firefox gained such a large share right off the bat? Because it was secure at the time and way better than IE.

    People downloaded it like crazy.

    So Apple blew it totally.

  8. I’ve been using Safari on Windows now for a day. It loads much much faster than my work-supplied IE7.

    The only glitches I’ve had is when altering preferences and trying to cancel. Then it’s hung on three separate occasions. But I’ve had no glitches at all and superfast loading while visiting over 30 different web sites. Oh yes, and it blocks popups!!!

  9. I had some issues with the fonts (or lack there of, in some cases) being used to render pages. I poked around a bit and ended up deleting the font.plist from C:\Documents and Settings\[user name]\Local Settings\Application Data\Apple Computer\Safari. The file rebuilds itself once you restart Safari, and now I have not experienced any issues at all.

  10. BS and lots of it. iTunes software is a simplified Safari that connects to a WebObjects service. Apple has done this for years. It works. No It Is The Question How To Make Safari To Understand All Of The BS That Makes The IE Womit Without Making The User Sick.

  11. They compared the speed of Safari to IE and Firefox, and Safari is definitely faster then those browsers. What I want to know is how fast it is compared to Opera. Last time I checked Opera was the fastest and most reliable web browser on every platform. The new Safari is probably on par with Opera, but I wonder which one comes out on top.

  12. Id have to say, that safari isnt that higher up on my browser list than IE. Firefox outdoes them all. Ask anyone writing web 2.0 content for Safari.. it just doesnt happen or if it does it doesnt work as good as IE or Firefox.

  13. “IE7’s many quirks.” so that’s what they are calling sh*t now days?

    As a web developer I installed Safari for XP right away and have been using it, yes it has crashed on me twice, still it’s far faster then IE and has fewer bugs. It actually makes it easier to build websites that work cross-browser since the win version seems to work the same as the mac version (as far as css/javascript quirks).

    The only thing I wish is that Safari had the same developer tools that Firefox has (web developer, firebug, lori, tamper data, and view formatted source), these tools are invaluable for figuring out what is going wrong in a web page, and is really needed on safari.

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