Sunday, April 6, 2008

Safari for Windows

Safari for Windows

Close this page immediately and go install Apple's Safari for Windows. I love this browser. It looks and behaves so ...Appleish, so Macintoshesq, so un-Windows-like.

Apple advertises Safari as the fastest browser there is. And it is, as far as I can tell. But here's the deal. Once you first download and install Safari on a Vista or an XP machine (I have it running on both) and you run it for the first few times you'll think, "Jeese, is this sucker ever gonna load!" But after you've loaded the browser 3 or 4 times you'll find that it loads every bit as fast as IE7 which loads 2 to 3 seconds faster than Firefox's latest version. The hot shot software reviewer "Jole on Software" has a blog on his site where he experienced the same thing as I did. You can go here and see the disclaimer he felt compelled to post on top of his initial review of Safari.

It could be that Apple has seen the success that Mozilla's Firefox has had in eating into Microsoft's dominance with its Internet Explorer browser. According to CNET as of February on this year IE had a 74.9 percent share of the browser market while Firefox had 17.3 percent, Safari had 5.7 percent and Opera, which is a wonderful Web browser had even a smaller share of users. I didn't know this until recently but the W3C has a monthly running total on browser usage going back to January of 2002.

As an amateur Web designer, hoping to one day be drafted into the pros, I test my pages in all of the major browsers, but not having a Mac or even access to a Mac, I always wondered what my pages looked like to the Macintosh folks. So when I installed Safari on my desktop, running XP, yesterday, I couldn't wait to see what my pages looked like in a Mac browser. Well O.K., a Mac for Windows browser, but it's Apple software. Anyway, all my pages looked great in Safari. Well, several on my pages looked great. A few of my pages need a little work to look anything like "great" in any Web browser, but that's a subject for another blog.

On my main machine I have IE7, Firefox ver. (the latest vesion), Firefox 3 (beta), Opera ver. 9.26 (the latest version) and now Safari ver. 3.1 which obviously is the latest version since just I downloaded it yesterday. You probably don't need to have all those browsers but I do because I need to check to see how the Web pages I write render in those browsers. Microsoft will not allow you to have two different versions of its browser running on the same machine at one time. Why, I don't know. And there are still millions of people running old copies of Internet Explorer like IE 6 and even IE 5.5. so in order for me to test my pages in those versions of Windows’ browser I simply go to NetRender at and test my designs in those old Windows browsers. They even let you test in Windows' newest browser still in beta called Internet Explorer 8 beta 1.

Of course, Firefox will continue to be my primary browser. I just type "ctrl + alt + f" and my Google home page pops up in Firefox with all my RSS feeds and Google gadgets ready to be used. Ah, life is good.

What! You're still reading this drivel? Close this window immediately and go install Apple's Safari for Windows. And no I'm not going to give you a URL for the download. Surely you're geek enough to Google it for yourself.