Safari 3

The worlds best browser has just been given new life -- on the PC.  That's right!  Now you can run Safari, the native web browser from Apple, right on your Windows XP or Vista OS.  As most of you know, I am an Apple user.  I really love the whole thing -- the very latest hardware (iMac, MacBook, Mac mini, iPod, and the soon to be released iPhone), and the coolest, most advanced OS in the world, Mac OS X (current build, 10.4 Tiger and the next generation, due out in October, 10.5 Leopard).  As you also know, this isn't the first time Apple has released an app for Windows.  Apple's iTunes is downloaded almost one million times a day by Windows users.  So, they aren't too worried about this not being picked up by the Windows world.

Why would people want to do that?  A number of reasons: ease of use, eligance of the interface, but mostly -- speed.  Safari is roughly twice as fast as IE 7 and roughly 1.6 times faster than Firefox.  And these are speeds that the average user can actually see.  When I open Safari on my iBook (the predasesor to the MacBook), web pages open up considerably quicker than Firefox.

What I think is also interesting about this is that Microsoft quit development of IE for Mac a while back.  And yet, Apple launches Safari for Windows.  And not just Vista.  No Apple knows that Vista is not doing so well and a lot of people are sticking with XP so they have made it available for those users as well.

This is a great day.  But it is only the dawn.  When the full sun rises, we will see new things in view and see the possibilities of the future more clearly.  It is truly an exciting time in the computer world.

Now if I can figure out a way to get Safari to run on Linux...

Peace be with you.

+ OD


Anglican said…
I pounced on the Safari beta as soon as it went live. Brilliant move on Apple's part, and I think it's all tied in with the forthcoming iPhone. And, just as they did with iPods and iTunes, the more people they can get used to using Apple products, the more likely people are to make a full switch the next time they're looking for a (needlessly overpriced) computer.

Even so, after a couple of hours of using Safari on Windows, I'm done for now. It's a beta, I know, and not ready for prime time, but I found the "look and feel" very disappointing, especially coming from Apple. The way fonts render is unacceptable, Safari's "font smoothing" notwithstanding. I'll play with Safari now and then, but it has a long way to go before it will be my primary browser.

I doubt this will ever happen, but I dream of the day when Apple turns loose of OS X and no longer ties it to their hardware. If that happened, I would go OS X and never look back. But until they do that, they'll still be primarily a hardware company with a shiny interface and not a serious competitor in operating systems.
Odysseus said…
Okay, you finally stepped over the line here, bub! :P

Concerning 'needlessly overpriced': Wait... What? Have you looked at the price of comparable PC? I mean, matching hardware for hardware? Software to software? Since the move to Intel processors, Apple computers have been cheaper than those from Dell, HP, etc. By a grand in some cases. So, I wouldn't say that Apple computers are 'needlessly overpriced'. Far from it.

Concerning 'font smoothing': I have this issue one Linux as well. But it just takes a very little amount of tinkering to get them to look right. Besides, the issue probably isn't with Apple. Like you said this is a beta and look at the way fonts are rendered in iTunes. Lastly, there is a HUGE difference in the ways fonts are rendered on a Mac versus a PC. Mac OS X, as I'm sure you are aware, has OpenGL built into it. Because of this fact alone, everything on the screen looks better. It is truly amazing.

Concerning the release of OS X to PCs: I will agree with this one. That would be cool, but, like you said, it won't happen. That is what makes Apples stuff so good. They control the hardware AND software. They don't have to deal with the zillion hardware configs out there that every geek slaps together. And that might be a problem for some niche, but not for the regular user.

Concerning 'not a serious competitor in operating systems: Are you serious here? I have been involved with OSes for years now and Apple has the best of both worlds. That is they have the great UNIX platform and the best looking, most easy, user-friendly OS out there. I don't know how many times I have had people thank me for leading them to a Mac. I had one lady get so frustrated with a flash drive on Windows XP. She got a Mac mini for Christmas and I installed it for her and set up a network and copied files through the network from her Windows 98 system to her Mac. She then plugged in her flash drive and just copied files to it. The next day, she was complaining to someone how frustrating it was to use the same drive on her Windows XP workstation. 'I have to go through ten different things just to do what I did in three steps on my Mac.'

Serious competition? You bet it is. The problem, imhbco, is that of perception and awareness. If I needed a new car and the only dealership around sold Fords, then that would be all I knew. And if I saw someone driving a Ferrari and told them, based on the numbers sold, that my Ford was a better automobile, they would go, 'Whatever'. I'm not saying your doing that. I've just seen that done to death regarding units sold as proof as to what is the better OS. But if I had a place where I could see both systems side by side and saw the features of both I would have a better informed opinion about my choice. The problem in the computer industry is that Apple won't let their hardware be sold in Wal-Mart (and I can't really blame them)! I mean, when you can purchase a Windows PC in Wal-Mart, you are in for a time of it. If your are lucky, someone there will be able to help you, but most likely not. So, the issue is exposure. I firmly believe that Mac OS X is the best OS in the market today. Period. Now, granted, it has some quirks. But 'not a serious competitor' is hardly the case.

Peace be with you.

+ OD
Anglican said…
I should have known better than to say anything even slightly critical of Apple. The Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field sometimes causes a great disturbance in the Force (to mix a couple of metaphors).

Don't get me wrong. If I could afford Macs, I would go 100% Apple. I love OS X, and I agree with you that it is the best consumer OS on the market today. But that isn't what I mean by competitive. Best doesn't mean competitive.

I'm talking about market share in the real world where computers are a commodity. Sure a $300 Dell box with a Celeron processor and integrated video is a piece of crap, but that's what most of the world wants (i.e., will pay for) and uses. I'm not talking about video editing professionals or high-end research here. Drop in to an average business that just needs a PC to do business--word processing, spreadsheets, and time wasting websurfing while at work (as I am doing now; don't tell!--and that low-end stuff works fine.

Apple doesn't go after that market, and that's fine for them. But that is the market for commodity computing, always has been and probably always will be.

If Apple would untie OS X from their hardware and allow it to run on every beige box--something Steve Jobs could do with a single memo--I think they would be a serious threat to Micro$oft. I would love to see that happen, but hardware is their bread and butter, and as we've said I don't see that happening any time soon.

I know the drill about comparing a Mac with a comparable PC and how the Mac isn't more costly, etc. I don't completely buy that, but there is some merit to it -- in *some* comparison cases.

A real world example is in order: me. I have a very limited income and I needed a new laptop. I just ordered one. With the money I had to spend, I could have bought the lowest-end white (ugh) Macbook with integrated video. No thank you. A MacbookPro would be great, but unless I win the lottery tomorrow night, it isn't an option. So for the same money, I ordered a far more powerful PC notebook. (It ships on June 20, and I'm counting the days, btw.) Apple just isn't going after consumers like me. That's what I mean by competitive.

I wish they were, and maybe some day they will be. When I can get the same specs I just ordered on a box that runs OS X, I'll be there faster than Steve Jobs can say, "One more thing."
Odysseus said…

Bill Gates and Redmond doesn't disrupt the force. They copy it and then tell you their version is better and THEN disrupt the force that they

Well, as you and I both know, if you are buying a laptop that comes with an OS, you're paying too much for it. Especially when there's PCLinuxOS out there (or whatever flavor you prefer).

And while I don't completely disagree with your comments about a 'real world' situation, I don't completely agree either (hey, what can I say, I'm an Episcopalian!). I have taken Macs and dropped them into Windows Enterprise environments and have had very little problems with them. They can authenticate through AD, browse the network shares, print, etc. without most of the hassles I had with some Dells. Besides, if all the average user is doing is what you mentioned, what's wrong with integrated video?

BTW, what laptop did you order?
Anglican said…
I'm no Micro$oft fanboy, trust me. But let's not pretend that MS is the only company that "copies." Apple is good, very good, but it *all* started with Xerox PARC in Palo Alto back in the 1970s. This comes to mind: . And all the fanfare about "Spaces" in the next version of OS X makes Linux users, who have had efficient multiple desktops for years, just roll their eyes. And enough already with the one-button mouse.

You are completely right that Macs will work just fine when dropped into the "real world." What I mean by real world is not whether they will work without problems in a Windoze environment, but whether a company that has a bottom line to consider will choose to go with a bulk order of generic PCs at $300 a pop versus . . . what? what does Apple offer to compete with that? That's what I mean when I say that Apple isn't truly competitive.

And again, that's not quite the slam on Apple that it may sound like. They're doing just fine as a company selling to the higher-end market, and more power to them. But they're still a luxury car in a Ford and Chevy world. Maybe that will change some day. I hope so.

Quick specs on my new toy: Core 2 Duo 2.0/4MBL2 (Santa Rosa chipset), nVidia GeForce 8400M GS, 2G RAM, 160G HD, DVD/RW, webcam, wireless, etc., etc. And I didn't have to pay an extra $200 just to get it in black.

What systems are you running?
Odysseus said…
Oh, I completely realize that Apple 'copied' stuff at the beginning but now, I think, a lot of their stuff is very original. I guess what gets me the most is how MS takes people to task over 'copywrite infringement' and lobbies against anything that is pretty much not MS. Take their latest coups to stifle ODF in some state legislature.

Concerning the $300 computer: I have never seen a computer, monitor, OS, etc. for $300. Point me in that direction. It will be useful when I work with non-profits. And that's just the point. All people see is the invoice. They don't take into account the overall security issues with using Windows. Unless of course, they talk to their IT departments. Then there is the wasted price of the OS. Most companies use and Enterprise version of Windows. And it's real hard to find a computer without an OS (unless you know where to look). And you know as well as I do that those $300 systems will be grossly under configured. Case in point, I have a 2003 iBook with an 800Ghz G4 and 640MB of RAM, running Tiger. And it ran circles around my custom built AMD 2GHz with 1.5GB of RAM running XP. If I tried to burn an audio CD, and then tried to do something else, I got myself a shinny new coaster. Show me a four year old PC that will run Vista Ultimate. It can't be found. Most people would have to upgrade their hardware, and they wouldn't know how to do that. So, while they might be able to find a system for $300, it will not be what they expect. Apple offers a couple of options for the average business, the iMac of the Mac mini. Both are exceptional systems.

Concerning Pages: Exactly.

My systems are the '03 iBook and a 2001 Compaq Evo N610c running PCLinuxOS 2007. It has a P4 1.8 an ATI Radeon, and 512MB of RAM.
Anglican said…
I'm with you 100% on M$'s latest assault on Linux and open source. That tells me they are running scared.

You're right on all counts. Those cheap systems are underconfigured. (See here for examples: .) And the security problems inherent in Windoze add a whole level of expense and frustration. But people still go with it because the bottom line price is the best around. This is what frustrates me about Apple. With their superior OS--which as you point out can run very well on "lesser" hardware--they could smash that market wide open if they would just do it. But that's not their bag.

My home PC (purchased for around $400 exactly four years ago this summer) is running Vista just fine--Aero and everything. In fact, it's snappier now than it ever was with XP. I am an upgrader, though I didn't have to do much. Boosted the ram a gig and added a very cheap PCI video card. I don't see replacing this system for a long time. Well, the roof in my house has been leaking lately, but that's another story.

Anyway, I hope all this sparring hasn't come across the wrong way. (Something tells me it hasn't.) I am a fan of OS X and Apple. I hope that's clear. I just don't completely buy the argument that it's less expensive than a PC.

Speaking of PCLinuxOS, I think when my new laptop arrives I will install PCLOS on my old one to tinker with it more. That laptop can't do the fancy graphics, but it'll still be fun to have a dedicated Linux box.

Peace, Brother.
Odysseus said…
One correction on my part, I wrote 'Pages' and it should have been 'Spaces' like you pointed out.

Concerning Apple 'squashing' that market: I know what you mean. They market their server for IT but, other than the PowerMac, don't really have anything for the small/medium business (SMB). Well, they do, obviously people who work at Apple all use Macs, probably iMacs. But there isn't a push in that direction. And their should be.

Concerning your 4 year old PC running Vista: Well, you hit the nail on the head when you said you upgrade. If we took that system as was originally configured and tried to run Vista Ultimate with all the features (if we want to call embedded DRM a 'feature'), it wouldn't do it. I have a friend of mine who has an original iMac, one of the blue ones, and he is running Tiger on it without any issues. And, like I stated earlier, my iBook has only one upgrade (640MB of RAM) but that wasn't so I could run Tiger. I did that when I bought it because I know that more RAM is always a good thing. But my iBook is 4 years old and it runs just fine -- more than fine. It runs great.

Concerning the sparring: No hurt feelings here. And this is not even really sparring. You should check out some of my archives and look for comments by Pinball. We really go it at times! And he's one of very closest friends, so I expect it from him.

Concerning PCLOS: Awesome! One more... Have you noticed its ranking at Distrowatch? It is crazy! Second place in the 6 months range and even first when you look at the smaller snap shots. I think it is really a force to be reckoned with.

Peace to you, too.

+ OD

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