“In the past, Safari users have run into problems accessing a lot of Web sites that just weren’t built to be compatible with Apple’s browser. That’s frustrating enough when it’s a business site, but when it’s a government site that provides information and services to which the user has a real right of access, it’s downright unfair,” Chris Maxcer reports for MacNewsWorld. “However, with Mac’s growth and Safari’s push to Windows, has the situation improved?”
Maxcer asks, “Shouldn’t government sites be open to all browsers? Aren’t sites supposed to be built on basic Web standards? Hasn’t there been plenty of time to iron out these standards? Sure, Safari usage is only hovering around 4 to 6 percent of all browser use range, but clearly Apple OS X and Safari is a viable Microsoft alternative worthy of support, is it not?”
Maxcer writes, “A private company not making its site available to all users is one thing, but access to government information can be a touchy issue. Back in 2005, the issue of Safari incompatibility erupted. Lots of sites, including banks and online stores, didn’t work with Safari — or didn’t work very well. Mozilla’s Firefox alleviated some of the issues, as did Internet Explorer (IE) for the Mac. However, when Microsoft pulled the plug on IE for the Mac in late December 2005, that option became less and less workable.”
Maxcer writes, “So when government sites seemed to only work well with Windows versions of IE, some users fought back. One of the best examples can be found at MacInTouch Reader Reports on ‘Mac Marginalization’ in the government and education sector. The site covers dozens of examples of .gov-related Web sites that didn’t function well with Safari. A biggie was Hurricane Katrina and usability flaws that shut out Mac and Linux users from filing disaster assistance claims.”
Maxcer writes, “Fast-forward to today. Now that the Mac is gaining in market share and Apple is hoping to make Safari more mainstream by making a version for Windows, has the problem been solved? Are Safari users able to get access to more Web sites now, government and otherwise? Whose responsibility is it, anyway — Apple’s or the developers of these various sites that at one time locked Safari out?”
Full article here.