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Apple Safari on Windows

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Safari on WindowsI'm a man of habits. That trait also extends to my browser of choice and, like many, I use Internet Explorer (IE) to surf the Web. Years ago, when the Internet was still new to the general public, it took me some time to actually start using a browser alongside my favorite text-based programs to browse the Web, read Usenet, or check email. That was the NCSA Mosaic times. Then I took my time to switch to Netscape. And I was yet again behind the curve when Microsoft joined the fray and introduced IE. For now I'm still an IE user, and true to form, I have refused to upgrade to version 7. Not that all the bad publicity has helped anyways.

I did try Opera once and saw no need for it after fiddling with it for a few days. I do use Firefox occasionally now. Not because I like it any better than IE for general browsing, but mostly to test Web pages. Firefox does have a leg up on IE in one area, the add-ons. Unlike IE, Firefox has done a superb job in designing and integrating the add-ons. They are much more straightforward to program and there's a bevy of available add-ons on the Web to choose from. Greasemonkey is one of my favorites, for example.

One browser I wished I could have was Apple's safari. That is the browser of choice for most Apple junkies, but until now it was out of the Windows' realm - Until now. Apple finally released a version (public beta 3) and, true to their claims, it is faster than either IE or Firefox. The speed was even evident during the installation process. It has a relatively small installation file and the setup process was fast.

Safari for Windows is a no-frills browser. It's lightweight and doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles. It does have an Apple-ish look, but after browsing to several sites I could confirm that their claim of being speedy is for real. I didn't clock its rendering speed, but it did feel faster than its other two popular counterparts. The configuration is a bit clunky and bears some resemblance to Firefox (must be the Mozilla heritage) and the fonts are a bit rough, but it performs magnificently. I was impressed.

Having Safari available on Windows is also a boon to site designers who need to check their pages for browser compatibility. One of the pages I tested was the JavaScript Countdown page on this site. There were some complaints of Safari incompatibility from some of the users. I was prepared to see a broken counter, but to my surprise the page loaded just fine, counter and all. That left me wondering whether there were differences between the Windows and Apple versions. Since I don't have access to an Apple, I am going to tentatively declare that the countdown utility is Safari compatible.

Safari won't unseat IE for me as the browser of choice for general browsing, but if you are in the market for a lightweight and speedy browser, this could be the one. But even if not, it's a valuable tool for Web designers toiling on Windows to achieve maximum browser compatibility for their pages.

If you want to download the browser, here's the link: Safari for Windows.


1 Comment

  1. Thanks for the countdown. I'm using it as a count-up and this works fine on a Mac using Firefox but not in Safari (which it displays as a count-down for some reason). I'm using it on the page http://www.amandaralph.com Thanks

    Comment by Amanda Ralph — April 23, 2011 @6:02 pm


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