The only “new” product to actually be released at WWDC by Apple was a beta version of Safari 3 for both Mac and Windows. Apple is promoting Safari as the method developers can enable software for the iPhone. Applications developed for Safari on the iPhone can hook into the other applications on the iPhone.
Safari on Windows seems to be targeted to future iPhone users even though Steve Jobs talked about Safari’s browser share and how it could grow. Steve also used iTunes as an example showing that they know how to write software for Windows. But it’s not like people flocked to iTunes to use it with something other than the iPod.
I suspect Safari on Windows has more to do with the iPhone and iPhone related apps than Apple’s attempt to bring their Safari to Windows as a standalone browser. It will be interesting to see if Apple tries to extend Safari as a cross-platform application environment for both OS X and Windows.
I installed Safari 3 beta on a couple of Windows XP SP2 PCs. On the first PC I skipped the option to install Bonjour (Apples file and device sharing). I ran some comparisons on this PC since it has Firefox 2 without any add-ins. Both browsers gave the appearance as having a similar response until I hit CNN.COM. Firefox slowed down and the CPU usage stayed around 16% while Safari’s CPU usage was 0% after the page load finished. From that point on Safari did seem faster. Maybe there is something to Apple’s claim that it’s faster than IE and Safari. I didn’t encounter any problems in my limited use on Windows except when it came time to write this post. I wrote it using Safari and the built-in WordPress visual editor. It seemed to work OK up until the point of saving the post, where it lost some formatting.
The installation automatically imported all Firefox and IE bookmarks. Each gets their own bookmarks folder so they aren’t mixed together. Apple has kept the metal color scheme and OS X look in Safari. Which means it’s looks out of place and rather ugly on Windows. I also had to tweak the font smoothing and it still has the look of being “just not right” but this could just be a beta issue. While I like the Apple look on a Mac I’d prefer it be more Windows like when running on Windows.
I’ve always liked Safari on the Mac but used Firefox because of it’s cross-platform abilities and available add-ins, although Firefox seems to be developing some bloat and problems of it’s own (like high cpu usage at time). It still remains to be seen if I’ll switch to Safari, but at least now it’s a viable option. What about you, will you be going to Safari on Windows?