Cringely on Apple, Google, Safari, and iPhone

“Safari for Windows is part of a PLATFORM in the same sense that iTunes is part of the iPod platform or vice versa. In this case the platform in question is the iPhone and an as-yet unmentioned partner in that platform is Google,” Robert X. Cringely writes for PBS.

“The iPhone absolutely needs AJAX applications for the phone to be a success on AT&T’s EDGE network. By pushing more functional logic into the browser, the bandwidth consumed per http round-trip is significantly reduced, making the phone apps faster and helping to justify that big price tag. The problem with this is that AJAX apps don’t always work the same (or at all) on every browser. The iPhone has real browser support, which is good, but remember AJAX is based on JavaScript, which in this case is not so good. JavaScript isn’t statically typed and each browser has its own version of JavaScript. Developers are typically forced to hand-code different versions of their AJAX apps for different browsers. With the AJAX economy dictating that browsers with big market share like IE and Firefox get most of the effort, that leaves Safari as a second-class browser and, potentially, a liability for the iPhone,” Cringely writes.

“Whaddayado? Introduce a Windows version of Safari, get a million people to download it in the first week, and scare developers into moving Safari customization higher on their AJAX priority list,” Cringely writes.

Much more in the full article here.

27 Comments

  1. As a creative director and UI software engineer I couldn’t agree with Cringely more. Even I, one of the most zealous of Apple fans, had to agree with our engineers that when developing new products for our sites that Safari was too buggy, unrefined and held too small of market share to be overly concerned with every-little-thing working perfectly. Well, that was only a couple weeks ago. Now I have convinced the Engineering Dept. to rethink this and we will now be rigorously testing for Safari.

    Steve Jobs is a freaking genius, no doubt about it! He is so many moves ahead on this “game of chess” it is truly stunning. Never doubt his ability to change everything.

  2. The beauty is that with the iPhone it isn’t even about raw numbers, a million people using safari probably doesn’t make a huge bump up developers priority list, but if those people are people who have iPhones, who have disposable income, who will be paying users of their apps or services then those people become even more important to developers than just numbers.

  3. Even if Safari stays 3rd in number of users and only people who use Macs at home and PCs at work use Safari for Windows, it will still be a huge success. Because now developers don’t have to buy a Mac to test their AJAX apps against Safari. They just have to download it. Any marketshare gain is just icing on the cake.

  4. Oops, sorry Brad. Didn’t mean to repeat.

    “justify that big price tag

    Awfully, subjective don’t you think. Big for whom? Makes as much sense as “Macs are expensive.”

    (usually written “MACS” which explains a lot)

  5. MDN: I don’t know about the experience coming to MDN is for other folks, but for me it’s getting pretty bad. Pages are extremely slow to load, even slower than my bank. It’s to the point now where I don’t click on a link in my RSS reader unless the subject is very interesting. You’re losing me on about half your articles.

    Please fix it.

  6. Wingsy
    You’re losing me on about half your articles.

    Please fix it.

    I’d look to your provider. Here in Edmonton on Shaw and Telus MDN loads almost every single time and wait times are dependent on traffic on the system I happen to be on at the time.

  7. Steve Jobs is a freaking genius, no doubt about it! He is so many moves ahead on this “game of chess” it is truly stunning. Never doubt his ability to change everything. —ChristopherOne

    Whatever else anyone thinks of Steve Jobs, this statement is absolutely true. Steve is a “freaking genius.”

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