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Author Topic: Safari for Windows - why?
Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted June 29, 2007 04:05      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I thought I might pose an Apple question which does not relate solely to the iPhone. [Smile]

The announcement of a Windows version of Safari was the only complete surprise to emerge from the WWDC keynote this year, and now even after much commentary, the reasons for doing this remain elusive (to me at least). The massive amount of work the iPhone has generated, has not only delayed Leopard, but revised Mac hardware is getting overdue too, so it's not as though Apple has spare capacity for anything that is not central to their future strategy, and the only Windows users I can see adopting Safari in substantial numbers are those who already have a Mac, at home or as a second machine. I don't see that Safari has any real advantage over other browsers for Windows. In the keynote Safari's speed was highlighted. I don't think this is an issue for most people, unless it is the speed of their ISP.

The first reasons given in the keynote, that with greater market share web developers will make more effort to ensure that their sites work with Safari seems pretty thin, now that standards based web development is accepted as best practice. If Safari remains standards based, nearly all web sites should work fine. The second implicit reason was it would help drive web development for the iPhone, which again does not really add up, as I would guess that if you are doing that you will want (and need) an iPhone to check your work on anyway. John Gruber has suggested that Google money might also be a factor, but this again supposes again that large numbers of Windows users go for it.

The most intriguing speculation I have read so far is made by Daniel Eran in his Roughly Drafted blog that it might be the first step in an attempt to resurrect the Yellow Box idea, trying to make MacOS the platform of choice for any developer wishing to create (potentially) cross platform apps. This is an intriguing notion. AJAX Web technologies and Java are the primary ways of doing this now and both have drawbacks centring mainly around speed. If Apple could crack that, they might have something truly attractive. In my opinion the most important new features of both Tiger and upcoming Leopard are the new developer tools. Apple is now having some success in attracting developers, and it is of course critical as the creativity of the independent developer community is the biggest asset of any platform, and the original software that is created on and for a platform, both defines it, and is its lifeblood. This would also explain why Safari for Windows makes almost no concessions to the Windows way of doing things. It is most definitely a port, rather than an attempt to create a Windows app.

The only certainty I have is that this is one more move in the endless chess game with MS, and I have little doubt that Redmond are puzzling over what it means at least as much as I am. So at the very least this is fscking with their heads!

What do you think is going on here?

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Posts: 2922 | From: Brighton - UK | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted June 29, 2007 04:17      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Isn't the answer to "why?", "because the women are wachting"?

I think you question restated should sound like, "Why does apple think they can make money off of Safari for windows?" I'd trust them, they seem to know what people want. Ok they have had thier failures. :cough: Newton :cough:

anouther possible answer is 42.

I suspect it is a combination of all three answers. Something about Women, the number 42 and money.

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maximile

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Icon 1 posted June 29, 2007 08:33      Profile for maximile   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If it gets a few more Windows users to stop using Internet Explorer, that'd be a benefit to me.

I'd be really excited by the idea of Cocoa for Windows. I think it would be excellent. The new Safari doesn't suggest that that's on the cards though; you can look at the source and see that none of it is written in Objective C.

Eran seems to think that it's still an indication of what's to come, but I don't see how. It's certainly nowhere near what I want; I want to be able to flip a switch in Xcode and have it make a Windows .exe file with no fuss. There are some promising third-party steps in that direction, but they're not there yet.

Anyway, it's certainly an interesting development to watch. Doubtless they have something cool up their sleeves.

Posts: 1085 | From: London, UK (Powys, UK in hols) | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted June 29, 2007 08:50      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have to assume at least part of the reason to port Safari to Windows has to be to get their name out there. A push to get another Apple product in the hands of the average user, much like iTunes and iPods. Which will hopefully continue to give another reason for switching over to OSX.

You can bet it is like a plot line in a Dune novel though. There are probably dozens of little goals and plans with this, but it is the most obvious one that I can see.

That said, I have never been impressed by Safari myself. But I know a few people that think it's the bee's knees.

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Posts: 2472 | From: Utarrrrggggghhh!!!!!!!! | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Slack User
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Icon 1 posted July 06, 2007 20:03      Profile for Slack User   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ashitaka:
"Why does apple think they can make money off of Safari for windows?" I'd trust them, they seem to know what people want. Ok they have had thier failures. :cough: Newton :cough:

I suspect it is a combination of all three answers. Something about Women, the number 42 and money.

Well money is kind of out of the question, since it's a free product.. Hard to make money when you release it for free.

Honestly mac and windows have been tied up together for quite some time. Internet Explorer was available for OSx. Microsoft Office was. It's not that big of a *gasp* when an application is 'ported' to another operating system's standards.

As long as it doesn't run like shit, eat resources & stay resident in memory with ninja-startup installing (*cough* iTunes/Quicktime for Windows) I don't see any problem with it.

Granted, I use Opera on my mac and my PCs... so I could care less about safari's portability. Only Safari/IE have the platform dependant presentation of what I believe are the top 4 used browsers (IE/Firefox/Opera/Safari). Of course Lynx/links is best of all. [Wink]

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Posts: 63 | From: Las Vegas | Registered: Jun 2007  |  IP: Logged
maximile

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Icon 1 posted July 06, 2007 20:31      Profile for maximile   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Slack User:
Well money is kind of out of the question, since it's a free product.. Hard to make money when you release it for free.

To expand a bit on what Calli mentioned, the money comes from the Google search bar. Whenever you do a search (from the box in the toolbar, not the Google page), and then follow a sponsored link, Apple gets some of the money. This method was rumoured to have made Firefox $72M in a year. Dunno how accurate that is, but there's no doubt it's a lot of money.

Granted, it might not be too much compared to what Apple makes from its other lines of business, but if they poured the money back into improving WebKit and KHTML, they could have a pretty attractive product within a few years (though it's already pretty attractive to me).

Posts: 1085 | From: London, UK (Powys, UK in hols) | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged


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