Impressions from Safari for Windows (1.0-1.02)

For the last 2 weeks I have being using and testing the latest release of Safari for Windows. Having a “new” browser on such saturated market as browsers for Windows, is a subject which will stay one of the headlines for the rest of the year. At least, as long as Nintendo or Sony are not thinking about launching their own version of browser for windows =O)

First of all, one of the most important Apple claims about Safari for Windows as being “designed to be secure” – has already being proved to be wrong. Till this day, there have been reported several security flaws. Apple has already included 2 patches in 1.02 version of Safari – it was quite a lot for a new browser, i have to confess. Claims like that reminds me about Microsoft claims about Vista security, and everybody knows that security updates for it are still coming out. =O) Important to say, that it does not make Safari for Windows an insecure browser – go to Frsirt or Secunia and check the list of the unpatched problems of the IE and Firefox, for example. There is no absolutely secure software, and Safari for Windows will have quite a number of security holes during the next year. What is important – how Apple is going to handle them and how many will be there after the version 1.0 FINAL RELEASE will be available.

Secondly – the first 1.0 beta version was quite unusable on a lot of computers where i have tested it – constant crashes after visiting sites with some national characters, no help available, bookmarks completely unusable (immediate crash after the launch), between some quirks with bold fonts etc. Some of the bugs were to fix with just copying some of the files from one folder to another (unacceptable for normal users), while others seemed to be more like an implemented “features”. Safari for Windows 1.02 update has solved the majority of that problems and right now it is finally possible to use bookmarks and help system.

Safari for OS X is quite a standards compliant browser, and everybody knows about it. For example, Safari for Os X have passed the famous ACID2 test, while many other browsers are still fighting to get there – Mozilla Firefox for example. I have checked the ACID2 test on Safari for Windows, and it seems that it perfectly passes it, without errors.

About the browser speed – it seems to be on the line with other major competition and for the most i have to confess, that a “hot-start” of Safari for Windows is quite impressive, not even IE6 is somewhere near, it is really instant.

The update mechanism is quite irritating – for each update (1.01 and 1.02) i had to download about 9MB of the content; even Firefox had less stuff when it had no automatic updates, and Opera while is below 5MB. Apple have to do something about it, as for example while using a laptop and having a bad connection it may take some time to download each update.

What Safari for Windows gives ? It gives you the feeling of how it will be on Apple Os X platforms. On one of the latest projects i have saved quite a lot of time and stress aligning things in OS X, while developing and testing for Safari for Windows. It will give the opportunity for Web 2.0 developers to adjust their sites for iPhone.

I see absolutely no reason of dropping Firefox and switching to Safari right at this moment – besides the absence of the extensions, which make work easy in Firefox, Safari for Windows continues to perplex with different and unexpected crashes. It would take quite a lot for anyone i know to switch to safari right now, when it still lacks the stability and its security still needs to pass the most essential of the tests – the test of time.

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