PC Safari

Posted on June 13, 2007

safari3 now for pc

Now that I didn't expect: Apple's ported version three of its Safari browser to Windows.

It's going to be an uphill battle for market-share. I imagine that those PC users that are even aware that there are alternative browsers to IE, and are prepared to switch, are going to choose the much-hyped Firefox. Here in Germany that's apparently quite a few (about a third) - in the States about 15%.

Looking at Safari 3's feature set, I can't see any killer function: Inline search is long overdue, resizeable text areas are nice to have. I imagine it'll take more than that to get users to switch.

Later that day...

I read this over at Daring Fireball:

But the primary reason is simply money. Safari is a free download, but it’s already one of Apple’s most profitable software products.

It’s not widely publicized, but those integrated search bars in web browser toolbars are revenue generators. When you do a Google search from Safari’s toolbar, Google pays Apple a portion of the ad revenue from the resulting page. (Ever notice the “client=safari” string in the URL query?)

The same goes for Mozilla (and, I presume, just about every other mainstream browser.) According to this report by Ryan Naraine, for example, the Mozilla Foundation earned over $50 million in search engine ad revenue in 2005, mostly from Google.

My somewhat-informed understanding is that Apple is currently generating about $2 million per month from Safari’s Google integration. That’s $25 million per year. If Safari for Windows is even moderately successful, it’s easy to see how that might grow to $100 million per year or more.

Comments (4)

Sachin said

I've tried it and I think that many sites in css break in Safari for windows. Ebay.com for example.

Posted by: Sachin at June 13, 2007 11:35 AM .

Nathan Rutman said

I wonder if it isn't an issue of trying to gain market-share (which, like you said, would be very hard), but giving Apple users a familiar alternative in the environments where they must use a PC. Not forcing Safari users to use IE/Firefox on the PC platform would refrain from tempting Mac users to stray from Safari to Firefox or Camino on their Macs.

Also, I'm viewing it as a blessing to designers who use PCs and have tried in vain to see realistic test results on Safari without buying a $2,000 Mac. In that light, Apple just made a big move toward helping the future of the web be Safari-friendly. Maybe they're trying to battle back against the, "Hey, why won't this render on Safari?" annoyances.

Any way you look at it, Safari for Windows isn't Apple's next cash cow, but as a PC-based developer, I sure am grateful for it!

Posted by: Nathan Rutman at June 13, 2007 02:47 PM .

bsn said

I think, because Apple software engineers are developing for Intel these days anyway, there wasn't too much overhead involved in porting Safari. (Not that I really know about these things).

As for PC-based developers wanting to test on Safari; that's not something you often hear of over here. Apple has a significantly smaller market-share in Europe than in the U.S., which leads to it being largely ignored as a testing platform. My bank website always warns me that I'm using an unsupported browser.

And will Safari PC render the same as Safari Mac?

Posted by: bsn at June 13, 2007 02:58 PM .

Rich said

Hello- I always to use the Safari on my mac at work for eight years, so I have the Windows Vista in my computer at home, which I use explorer. I heard that rumors say that Windows Vista can run with Safari. I read the magazine and saw it. I found the Safari Beta for Windows Vista. Then I installed it yesterday. It look pretty cool and I love it. Now, I have a problem with the PDF. I do download the pdf file and it seem not working, because it show zero bytes. Anything wrong?

Let me know and thank for help

Posted by: Rich at July 1, 2007 03:02 PM .