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back to article Jobs: one more thing... a browser war

Steve Jobs has re-kindled the browser wars - only this time Firefox is in the firing line, as well as Microsoft. Apple's CEO today opened his company's developer conference in San Francisco, where he outlined an ambitious target to take over Firefox's 15 per cent market share. How? By releasing a Windows version of Apple's less- …

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Don't Make Me Laugh!

Notice - ONLY 5 % market share for Safari, that's LESS than the Mac market share, so that means not even all the Mac owners use it at all!!!! Safari is a piece of shit, it crashes on complicatate sites, especially with lots of Java or Flash, it's NOT even Current HTML standards compliant! In FACT, a huge percentage of Mac users DON'T use Safari as their primary browser! They use Firefox!

Windows users aren't going to migrate, MOST won't even migrate to Firefox or Seamonkey, both superior to IE already! Windows users hate Apple, and with good reason. Watch the tele.

Reg, either you're such an Apple Whore, or your staff is pretty stupid to fall for this.

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What a joke!

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

He's really lost it this time! So Safari, which I would never have heard of if it wasn't for the fact that I'm a Network Admin at a web dev company is going to take on the big boys? Why - Safari's crap.

The only reason it has a market share (Something like 2% I think) is because people use it when they first get a Mac to download Firefox or Opera.

And I love the thought that developers should worry about not being able to install clients on the iPhone - instead use AJAX. That's great Steve, how the f*ck are the end users going to access these web apps without 3G?

Moron.

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You forget...

They scoffed at the iPod as well. They scoff at the iPhone. Now they scoff at Safari for Windows. We shall see.

I'm posting from it now.

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Anonymous Coward

I love the Mac, but...

Safari is a piece of crap. I use Firefox because it's available on all the platforms I use (PC, Mac, Linux, Solaris).

Who cares about the iphone...an overpriced, over-hyped, feature-deficient toy.

Jobs had better hope it gets hacked - at least that way he can sell them to geeks to play with, like the Apple TV.

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Safari ?

If it's any good, it'll get its chance. I'm always ready to try a new browser, I don't care what the name is or where it's from. But, it has to be secure, it has to allow extensions, it has to block pop-ups and, ideally, it should allow me to also block unwanted images and iframes.

Having never used Safari, I don't have an opinion on it, but I must admit that Jobs touting - what was that again ? speed in tab swapping ? Who does that ?

Not me. So I guess that is to be filed in the bling glass cabinet.

Okay, Steve, so we've got bling. Got anything actually useful to talk about ?

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Still only 2 cross-platform browsers out there...

...and, guess what, they're not called IE or Safari. No Linux version of Safari I see, leaving Firefox (OK, Seamonkey too I guess) and Opera as the only two browsers available on the three major desktop platforms (although Netscape 9 is apparently back on 3 platforms again in beta form afer outrageously becoming a Windows-only browser for version 8 - it's lost so much market share now that it's off the radar of almost everyone).

I tried out Safari on Windows and noticed a couple of things - 1. like IE7, I find it hard to get rid of just the Search box in the top right (it's bizarrely "welded" to the Address bar, so you have to ditch both or keep both!) and 2. the chrome is Mac-based (maybe there's an obvious way to change this?) making the browser look completely out of place on Windows (ironic that that's the charge most often levelled at Firefox on Mac OS X!).

I'll stick with Firefox - works on all 3 platforms and is far more customisable with extensions and themes than any other browser out there.

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Iphone

First Steve, as PC user I use Firefox over IE, basically because it is much better and more stable. Why would I want to go to Safari.......

Second, the iPhone, why make it so only Apple can really develop for it. I can see why you have a bite out of your logo. Did u pass that on then force it back mid bite......

Why Oh why do we need the iPhone anyway, I have no doubt it will do well, but at least 85% of mobile phone users use the phone to.......make calls and send text messages and thats it.

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Anonymous Coward

First opinions as a Windows / Firefox user

Yuck!

Looks like a clunky non-Windows app pretending to live in harmony with Windows and failing (ignoring Windows themes, not using standard Windows dialogs which in turn makes it slower, etc), and then worse Apple have brought their own font rendering and it look hideous!

Why not use the built in Windows font system and rely on each user's own settings for ClearType etc, and then the fonts will look the same as the rest of the system.

Whilst I could excuse them for trying to force anti-aliased fonts on us (which at first glance often looks bad), they've done it really badly. ClearType works, this doesn't.

Other than that, I've already found a few sites that don't work. Some dynamic HTML / AJAX stuff doesn't work. Some things are sluggish.

Oh and millions may download iTunes but it doesn't change the fact it's a terribly designed piece of software. Most people only use it because they have to with an iPod (if they haven't worked out alternate ways).

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Safari is fine

It's a browser. The new Beta is pretty fast - but really, that's hardly an issue these days. Moveable tabs is good, but not out of the ordinary. I don't know if they've fixed the memory leak issue.

However, Firefox has its issues, too (doesn't always respond to keyboard commands). They're all better than IE, and if Apple needs to do this as an iTunes for the Windows iPhone users, then what's the big deal?

The geeks will switch browsers all the time depending on nano-second speed differences, most people just want to use the web - and Safari is both useable and likeable.

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Let the Show begin......

What is the point in having a "popular" browser, if it only feeds you with what they want you to know rather than with what you can know.

Content is the Ace, King, Queen, Jack of all Trades and a Browser [Media Company] with a Dedicated and AIntelligently Designed, New and Real, QuITe SurReal Media Content Feed, will Eclipse and Lead Any and All Others as IT takes you on Safari to Sights and Sounds/Thoughts and Missions under their Control.

Prepare yourself for A.N.Other Byte at the Apple..... in a Quite Alien Support for Magical Mystery Turing.

Very Stealthy Steve...... they don't even See IT Coming ...... that which Changes Lives forever........ Inside AInformation aka Special AIntelligent.

I'll take a barrel of them APIs, alsjeblieft. ASAP too.

PS. Does the Register know what Investigative Journalism is, or are there queries lost in Space when they try to send them to Source? Ye Olde Route Switching to Compromised Root Server Trick to keep everyone frigid in the Dark rather than frolicking in the Light of Sun Networks........ Locked Down and Out in Exclusive Closed Systems rather than Empowered and Enabled by Open Source.

Virtual Self Actualisation is an Interesting AstraMetaPhysical State Way Beyond anything that would Think to Confine and thus to Consign to Executive Administrative Control.

IT is capable of, and is specifically dDeveloped for, in terms which I am sure you can understand..... New World Order Programming ...... even if you have a difficulty in Believing in IT. That mental block would be entirely yours and would extend no further, other than to be matched in others with the same limiting and limited reasoning.

You don't need to Believe for IT to believe in ITself 42 Present to you ITs Programs..... you merely need to Look, Listen and Learn as IT EdutAIns U2 with ITs QuITe Subliminal Feeds.

And that's Big Brother/Sassy Sister Territory with a Big Mamma to Satisfy........ Seventh Heaven for ITAngels.

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First day and an ton of bugs posted

Just read on /. that they've already discovered loads of security bugs in Safari. OMG, it _is_ crap ;)

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McJobbs

Jack of all trades master of none?

Has he ever followed anything through?

the ipod, rather nice looking, great if you want to play a few albums; sucks with your entire collection in it, unless you are willing to select a single album to play every time; or setup playlists. I think they even hid my photos so I can't retrieve them.

iTV great, but why will I buy it when my XBMC still rules the roost; do everything XBMC does, and then i'll buy it. yes you can mod it, but it's either too hard, or tbh i can't be assed.

Iphone, my hermes looks just like one now. of course it won't take long to workaround their workarounds. but if it's like the iTV it will be too difficult for most; or just too long winded.

Safari, I've never used it, tbh i'm not likely to.

Imac, girlfriend says she still prefers to shave her legs.

the last completed thing i've seen was probably a mac ii, and even then there was something missing .....

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Anonymous Coward

Proxy Server Authentication

Well it seems it crashes when authenticating with a proxy server: http://psyphen.efx2.com/view/93846/Apple-Safari-Windows/

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iTunes

"...there have been over a half a billion downloads of iTunes to Windows machines." How many of those were 'bundled' with QuickTime player and never used? Only the very recent versions of QT have been downloadable without iTunes .

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It's plenty fast for me

Using Safari 3.0 on OSX & WinXP, for me it's as fast as my Camino 1.5 on the Mac (which is to say - fast!) and seems faster than IE or Firefox on Windows: Not bad for BETA software - and a 1st attempt at that. So here's one converted user, won't take many more like me to make some sorta dent.

And Firefox's 15% isn't that flash - given it's supported on multiple platforms, compared to Safari's 5% when offered only on Mac OSX.

For Apple to score a significant victory here, it doesn't need to beat IE market share (which it never will) just gain a big enough toehold to force web developers to properly code their sites; to provide a healthy platform for iPhone web-app development; to further give PC-users a taste of the 'Apple Way' - maybe for some conversions; and simply to weaken MSoft's tight grip on internet standards generally. No other company (maybe Google?) has the ability to do this. I wouldn't bet against them - their recent record is too strong to laugh at.

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Good on Apple

As a web developer, I'm happy to see any modern browser show up on Windows. The more people introduced to browsers that are reasonably standards compliant, the more pressure is bought upon MSFT to bring their browser kicking and screaming into this millennium. Front end developers spend significant amount of time just making IE seem to work as well as Firefox, Opera and Konqueror/Safari.

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re: iTunes

What? iTunes is not bundled with QuickTime player. However, the Quicktime media layer IS installed when you install iTunes for Windows. It's unlikely that iTunes was installed on the PC without the user initiating it....

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Safari on Windows

IMMSMC, Safari is based on my favourite web browser: Konqueror. Which itself is coming to Windows soon with the advent of KDE4 -- and unlike Opera, Konqueror is GPL so you get the full Source Code.

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Safari could be forced on the masses

I am a student at uni and contrary to popular belief most people that I know who aren't computer experts use iTunes on Windows. Why you ask?

1) iPods. All us youngsters have these funny iPod things nowadays (except me it seems) and what is bundled with that? iTunes! Why use two different apps to manage and then load your music onto your MP3 player when you can use one!

2) Sharing. Everyone at uni loves sharing music and why go to the bother of having to find the music, copy the music onto a pendrive, go to another computer, and then copy it on to that (which is illegal btw) when you could just listen to it through iTunes sharing.

3) Music downloads. I am not really sure why anyone would want to use iTunes to download music, but strangely they do.....

At least 75% of people I know at uni use iTunes so that is a fairly heft amount!

So anyway, how is Safari going to dominate the world? Well IMO Safari 2 for Mac sucks, that why I use Opera. It crashes a lot and doesn't work too well on some sites, and that is just the beginning. But if Apple is going to bundle it with iTunes and QuickTime, and when it installs make this the default browser most people aren't going to change it. They will find it works much better than IE7 and probably won't even know how to change it back.

The only people who won't be using Safari in this case are those clever enough to install another browser. Apple 1 Everyone Else 0.

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Inflating iTunes for Windows Downloads

The only reason the downloads for iTunes on Windows looks so rosy is that they bundled the damb thing with QuickTime. I've lost count of the times I've had to re-remove iTunes after it sneaks in with the lastest QT update. Now, I suppose I'll have to play wack-a-mole with Safari too, huh?

Way to make broadband feel like dial-up, Steve!

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Safari? Hmm...

Ok. I use a Mac at home. In fact I have two. One 'anglepoise' G4 iMac and a nice Intel Macbook.

At work I use all PC's (I work in IT).

But the common software I use across both is Firefox.

Why?

Because Safari doesn't support the sites I want to use. My online banking doesn't work. Loads of forms don't work. Try booking a holiday with First Choice using Safari - it doesn't work. So I predominantly use Firefox on my Mac and also at work on my PC.

I downloaded Safari for the PC just to test, however, being in a corporate environment it sucks instantly because the proxy doesn't work, and you can't turn the proxy settings off as in Firefox or IE (it's greyed out for some reason).

I hate to say it, but Safari for Windows could end up being another Apple Newton....

(And people call me a mac fanboy...)

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Well said, Doc Dish

I've lost count of the number of QuickTime "updates" that have "helpfully" included that pile of cack known as iTunes. If what Jobs wants is to shove Safari down our throats as part of the same process, then he can stick it where the sun don't shine; we'll just stop using or accepting QT files.

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oh the hysteria

good grief - how could two so simple things evoke such hysteria...

get a grip people - nothing more than a browser and a phone.

move on, nothing to see here

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Title

"How many of those were 'bundled' with QuickTime player and never used? Only the very recent versions of QT have been downloadable without iTunes"

I've always seen iTunes as malware for this very reason - I notice safari bundled with iTunes is the default option. Forcing/tricking ppl into downloading something then crowing about the stats is pretty lame.

And as for Safari - well it's great news to have another interpretation of 'standards' to add the the test suite - I doubt it'll see much more use than that on my part. I migrated to Firefox because it was a clear improvement on any other browser at the time. This beta doesn't raise the bar in any area that I can see and the ugly chrome and poorly rendered fonts don't exactly create a good first impression.

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Tabs & iTunes

"... offer a browser that lets you drag tabs around ..."

So? Firefox does this already.

"...As a matter of fact, there have been over a half a billion downloads of iTunes to Windows machines. Over half a billion. And so we know how to reach these customers, and we're going to do exactly that,"

Hmm. If they're thinking of including a Safari download in the iTunes download... well, that's just a bad idea for a whole lot of reasons.

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So that...

I'm waiting for Jobs to launch the iRack.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rw2nkoGLhrE

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I just wish...

That people wouldn't call AJAX a 'standard'. Its not. Its just a jumble of technologies that, while really useful, don't actually mean anything. Even the guy who coined the phrase Ajax said its not an acronym, even though people insist on claiming it!

By the logic this 'reporter' is using a stanadard is something thats heavily used out there. In that case then IE /is/ the defacto standard and everything else is incompatible. Obviously thats not the case.

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Dear Windows Users...

...save yourself some grief. Ignore Safari.

Some Apple people will tell you it's the best thing since ...well ...since best things were invented! But then again, these same people will tell you that the Apple UI is also the best thing bla bla bla ....and it most certainly is not; it has some glaring deficiencies and some extremely annoying "features".

I agree with an earlier post - the only time I used Safari was to download Firefox. Actually, if I'd been thinking, I'd have probably been better off using wget.I can't comment on whether Safari crashes (I've not used it enough), but it certainly lacks any features like ad blocking, script blocking, proper cookie control, etc etc.

Why would you use anything other than Firefox on the Mac? Doesn't make sense.

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Safari vs. Apollo

Locking down Safari and sandboxing the iPhone may solve many of the security risks attending AJAX but they won't solve the inherent performance problems. In terms of speed: Opera is by far the fastest of the browsers out there but even with Opera AJAX is slow. If I was doing this kind of stuff I'd go straight for Adobe's Apollo which is going to lever Flash and PDF's strength and will allow for highly optimised runtimes and caching strategies.

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Safari is not designed for windows users!

The only reason that safari is on windows now is so that more web devs will support it, currently most don't even look at it. Secondly, the fruit must have been given some advice by their google board member that he pays firefox 50 mil a year for search results and that apple is retarded for not trying to get a larger piece of the cake....

The iphone, is going to sell iike hotcakes, especially since its a new ipod and it can rotate the screen automatically! He could put no applications on besides that and the interactive poo game and it will still sell out.... thats the power of the ipod brand... So basically in this case its screw you developers.... Frankly nothing on the windows mobile platform can touch the iphone in terms of usability,or functionality. Face it, apple does slick REALLY well

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All browsers are a joke

There really isn't a usable browser out there yet. They all suck. The main issue being that most actually develop the GUI not the rendering engine.

A group should focus on making the best possible rendering engine that

is easy to use and maintain and extend. Another separate group should

work on a reference browser implementation that is only used for testing.

Everything else should be made by third parties like differently featured browsers.

Currently my best be is on WebKit/khtml/webcore to become that rendering engine and then for browsers to be build on top of it.

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Rob
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They'll make u-turns...

... on the iPhone development process. It won't take long for the iPhone to hit it's market saturation point with the mindless Apple sheep buyers. Anyone who has the phone for serious use will realise that not letting 3rd party apps be developed properly for the device will kill it.

Look at handango and the amount of apps available for symbian and Windows Mobile (which has a large touch screen product range). I haven't heard of any carriers being compromised yet and these devices have been out for years.

Safari is too little too late I think, what's Jobs trying to do, suddenly make the Mac a competitior to PC's!!! Jobs you can't bolster your pensio fund like that, it's too late. Stick to the swiss watches of computers and leave the market be.

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It's all about Webkit

Webkit is a very neat way of implementing Web 2.0 applications. The most common use for it so far has been Dashboard in OS X, and I suspect that this is where Safari will be going on Windows. Take a step further from that and Webkit provides a portable API of the kind that Google has been talking about in the last month. Steve, as a showman, has to promote it in a desktop way though as that's the only way he can.

Safari itself is very underfunctional compared to Firefox 2, Opera 9, and even IE7. If Safari 3 has caught up with the features that make Firefox and Opera compelling, it will become a contender, but my feeling is that it will become an application platform that has an underused browser window but a ubiquitous rendering engine.

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beta version is poor, wait till they've finished it ?

ok, so i tried the beta version of this browser and the first site i visit, it fails to load.

I did like the ability to take a screenshot of the current page and send it on as a bug.

but for performance, it is outdone by IE7, Firefox, Opera and even another beta Gran Paradiso.

Apple have a long way to go with this, so i will reserve judgement until an updated verion is released, but if this is ghood enough to make a judegement on then it will not remain installed on any machine i use for more than a day before it is removed and consigned to the "get the hell off my pc" bin

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Dam

Re: Oh the hysteria

"good grief - how could two so simple things evoke such hysteria...

get a grip people - nothing more than a browser and a phone.

move on, nothing to see here"

The problem isn't that Jobs wants to port Safari to windows (rofl really, the first thing I do on *any* computer, be it PC or Mac, is go dl firefox), the problem is that it's gonna *force* it onto users just like he *forces* his crap iTunes on you when you dl QT.

He can shove the three of them in a very dimly lit place.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Opera?

I notice that there's no speed comparison with Opera in the main article. Although the comparison is not quantified it'd be good to know how Opera fares.

@Killian; regarding the comment of "Forcing/tricking ppl into downloading something then crowing about the stats". I wonder how IE became the most widespread browser installation in the first place, especially considering it's regarded so badly. You can't really knock Apple for bundling when they're only trying to keep up with the competition.

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Anonymous Coward

Did not last 5 minutes

I downloaded it in great anticipation! Excellent, I thought, another browser!

It crashed on loading! Yes, it is beta version, and they will fix it, but like iTunes it is just going to be bloated and run crap unnecessary services that hog resources.

I'm sticking to Firefox, it has been fine since v0.6 and is getting better with every release. Can't wait for v3. At least Firefox can be customised, unlike Safari or IE7.

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Anonymous Coward

Pretty quick actually; installed and uninstalled in 30 minutes

In between, it crashed while rendering a standalone JPG, which kind of sealed it for me. Only one bug on my Safari, but a big enough bite enough to put me off doing it again.

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Its a no brainer

A lot of the negative comment here is from people who are, or who think they are tech savy. However the Safari release is not aimed at you, they don't care about you, as you'll tinker with/complain about any new browser. Safari is firmly aimed at the people who like ITunes, who can install what they like on their machines at home or work. Why release a browser into a market which is well covered?, because the competition is weak, and more importantly the amount of time and effort expended in producing it vs the potential positive side effects it produces is a no brainer. I can see Mr. Jobs 18 months from now, telling the world that Apple's share of the browser market has leap from 4% to 20% or whatever, which will make the herd think about getting on the band wagon, and trying other Apple stuff. Its almost free sales publicity "Apple continues to grow".

btw I downloaded and installed it no bother, never had a problem with Safari 2 either, visiting any site, or ordering/booking anything. Perhaps not every site is produced to be compliant with standards or different browsers?

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Anonymous Coward

Install this at your own risk

It contains the spyware/bloatware Bonjour

If you really want to mess your system up install Bonjour

I know it is an optional install but any company that offers this must be treated with suspicion and caution

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Anonymous Coward

Some of you are

pretty harsh on a Beta. Wow -- especially considering the long history of Windows being the King of Crap UI.

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I know some support boys who will be crying in their beer over this!

I use Firfox 99% of the time on Windows and Linux, and only use IE for those really badly made websites that will only load on pure IE. I have tried most other browsers and always seem to gravitate back to IE/Firefox. I used to work with a number of very carefully designed web apps and my support team for the product were thoroughly trained, sorting an IE or Firefox user's issue in a matter of seconds. We used to HATE getting calls from Mac users with Safari - they usually refused to accept that it could be a problem with Safari, that we had to be "Luddites" not to have a solution that worked seamlessly with Safari, etc, etc. They would insist that Safari was bang-up-to-spec on standards. We tested it, it was not. Our standard answer became to advise the users to use a PC (and hold the phone away from our ear when they shrieked) or download Opera. I, for one, will most deifnately NOT be trying Safari on Windows.

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Anonymous Coward

Calm down dear, it's only a browser

Wow, there are some really rabid comments here.

First, a good number of Mac users use Safari, including myself, and I'd call myself a power user, having developed commercial sites as far back as Netscape 2.0 and being involved to a small degree in the CSS specification. In fact Safari supports some CSS features that are not available in Firefox, such as alpha transparency - rgba(100%,0,0,0.5) - and the <canvas> tag which is poorly supported in Firefox.

Macs have about 5% of the market and Safari is about 2.5% of the market share, so clearly at least 50% of Mac users are Safari users.

Third, if you have a website that doesn't work on Safari, that's 100% the fault of the site owner. There hasn't been any reason to code for a particular browser since about 2000 - most web developers still wouldn't recognise an HTML legacy attribute if you paid them, and all modern browsers have excellent overall support for CSS. Email the site and bitch at them, not the browser - I did this with First Direct Bank after their recent redesign broke internet banking on Safari and guess what? It's working again.

Fourth, what does it matter? All browsers have their faults. Safari has lousy cookie management. Firefox is, in my opinion, clunky and slow, although I'm sure fanboys will disagree. Some people like Nokia, some Sony Ericsson, it's the same argument and just as futile. Get over it.

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Applications?

Hmmm... a browser launch? On Windows?

Seems strange, until you consider that Apple have no office suite as such. Might it be a trojan horse for a suite of hosted applications via Ajax? This would make sense, if you think about it. The much-rumoured Apple Office has not yet materialised, and there's a palpable push on just now in the serviced application arena. And, of course, if Apple launched hosted apps that rely on Windows ActiveX or similar, and then MS pulled that rug from under them by 'updating' IE so that the apps got broken... what better way than to have your own browser?

Gary

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Beta Installed

websites checked for Safari compatibility now

browsers on PC = 4, excitement level = unchanged, still using IE7 for most browsing

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So thats 4 Browsers we need to code for?

Ive not used Safari before, nor have I tested my web applications on it due to the very low market share that it has in the stats.

However if they bundle it with iTunes (which lets face it is a big possibility) then its going to sky rocket in installs

How compliant is Safari? Are we talking Microsoft compliant or Firefox compliant?

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Silver badge

yeah right...

Let's have a look at current Apple -> Windows ports to get an idea of what we're in for...

iTunes is a memory hog, it leaks memory faster than an MP in a cash for questions cross examination. It uses a non standard interface which leaves experience windows users clicking buttons and menus all over the place trying to find an obvious function (even when you do find them, you're not 100% sure if it's done what you expect). It can't even conform to the standard window dialogs, instead throwing up Mac style "do not save" boxes. The only reason so many people use it is because the iPod is also non-standard and requires iTune to populate it's screwy file system.

So thank you Saint Steve, but I'll be sticking to my Firefox on my XP and Linux boxes, and Opera on my mobile.

Oh, and to the guy that said "we scoffed at the iPod, we scoffed at the iPhone", I'm still scoffing at the iPhone, and will continue laughing until it gets MMS messaging and all the other things £5 European phones have had for years,

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Hmm...

My PCs have various IEs and Firefox installed on them. My girlfriend's Mac has Safari and Firefox. I use firefox and IE about 50/50 on the PCs, but we never use Safari on the mac, it's just pony. Who cares if it is twice as fast as IE/Firefox, twice as fast as easily fast enough, still falls into the easily fast enough category.

As for the iPhone, I can't think of any other platform that expects to get large market penetration that has ring-fenced development. What are they thinking?

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Crashes when trying to use via a proxy!

Doesn't work in a corporate environment as it crashes every time you try to authenticate via a proxy. I was also not impressed by the comment that the password was sent in clear text.

I don't think that they have thought this through ...

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