Apple announced their Mac-only web browser, Safari, will now be available on the Windows side in a new public beta. Now in addition to the included Internet Explorer, open-source darling Firefox, cool-to-be-the-underdog Opera, blast from the past Netscape among many other browsers we now have the choice of Safari.
Who would choose to use Safari?
Lots of people due to its security over Internet Explorer and less-bloated memory footprint compared to Firefox. Safari is a good middle-of-the-road, basic browser for those merely interested in surfing the web and not into all of the technical nuts and bolts of the modern browser.
Sure, lots of Mac geeks who are forced to use Windows boxes will switch, but what about the average Joe?
I am positive they will come in contact with Safari sooner than you think. After this beta phase fades away and the official Safari 3 ships, Apple will bundle it with iTunes and Quicktime making millions of unsuspecting music patrons download and install the browser without them even knowing they had a choice. But why should iTunes fans care if they download some more Apple hub-jub? It is Apple we are talking about; maker of fine, easy to use software and stylish high-end hardware.
Apple won’t insist Safari be the default browser after merely installing it, oh no that would be too aggressive and pushy. Instead, iTunes will merely require it for some new fan dangled feature in the iTunes music store. Itunes could easily detect if you have Safari installed and launch special iTunes web content in the Apple browser of choice with a simple, harmless dialog asking the audience “Would you like to make Safari the default browser?” Any browser out there today will pop up this question and generally it is an accepted practice so long as the developers give the user some control like “Don’t ask again” or “Remember my choice”. Bam! Problem solved with no harm done and Apple’s browser market share will slowly begin to creep up. After all if it worked for Quicktime and iTunes why couldn’t it work for Safari?
Download the new Safari at www.apple.com/safari/