Safari comes to Windows; Apple makes lofty claims

You can now download a public beta of Safari 3 for Windows. My initial reaction was to cringe. The reason: iTunes. It’s a dog on every Windows machine I’ve used it on. Maybe it’s an unfair bias, but first impressions…

However, Apple makes some very optimistic claims about Safari’s “blazing performance.” Among them:

  • ~160% faster HTML rendering over Firefox
  • ~160% faster javascript performance over Firefox

And the claims get bolder when comparing against IE.

Feature wise, Safari has all the goodies I love about Firefox out of the box. The problem is that extensions are what makes Firefox really shine–well, shine and leak memory.

Essentials, every single damn day extensions:

  • Greasemonkey
  • Firebug
  • Web developer toolbar
  • Tamper Data/Live HTTP Headers
  • XPath Checker
  • Selenium IDE


  • DownloadThemAll
  • EC2/S3 plugins
  • FireFTP
  • Chatzilla

So, if I can think of my browser as just a browser and not part of my development environment, Safari could be an option. I’ll give it a fair go.


I guess beta really means beta. I get no text. Anywhere:


About John Herren

John Herren is a developer and technical consultant with focus on web applications. He currently serves as Director of Development for Primetime US, the company behind the hit movie and book The Secet. John was formerly staff writer and developer community evangelist for Zend Technologies. Along with founding neat experiments like, John is an active member in the mashup community, working with API providers and speaking at conferences. He is a published author of Linux certification study material. John enjoys using open source software like PHP and Ruby on Rails to bend the web into exciting new chimeras of hyperlinked goodness. View all posts by John Herren

2 responses to “Safari comes to Windows; Apple makes lofty claims

  • Ed Finkler

    I will say this: even on my G4 1.2Ghz Powerbook, Safari is *fast*. iTunes is slow on this machine (I loathe opening it), but Safari is a speedy little demon. Firefox on OS X is slow anyway, so on this machine it’s nearly unusable, and I’ve gotten to the point where I only open it for development purposes — it’s there where Firebug makes FF a killer webdev app.

  • Chris

    I just installed it on my XP machine, and had the same problem, no text AT ALL! It seems to be a fonts issue, because whenever I access the Edit->Preferences->Fonts page it locks up the PC. I’ve tried manually editing the font config files but I can’t get this thing working. I’ve used Safari on OSX running on VMWare on Windows XP, and it was quite fast loading, but this is the slowest most memory hogging and broken browser I’ve installed. I’d expect this from an Alpha version but not a Beta!

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