Safari update makes itself obsolete on Windows

Last week, Apple announced the Safari 4 beta with a whole host of updates and enhancements. Whilst all of this is great for Mac users, it renders the browser completely obsolete for Windows users. Let me explain:

Lets go through the list of new features.

  • Top SitesOpera first added this feature 3 years ago, Google Chrome has it, all Apple did was make it fancy and unusable
  • Cover Flow – I like the live page preview (other browsers do have that) but cover flow, to me, is something that windows users will never understand
  • Full history search – Safari is the last browser to get this function
  • Tabs on top – Google spent a lot of effort getting this right, Apple haven’t put the same level of thought into it. If anything, it makes Apple look like they’re copying Google, badly.
  • Nitro engine – Makes pages run fast. Cool
  • Native look and feel – looks good in Vista, awful in XP. Considering Vista usage is < 10%, that’s not a good thing
  • Developer tools – once again, Apple is playing catch-up

So, what does this all mean exactly? Well, Safari is becoming more and more like Chrome. In fact, all Google has to do is update their Webkit rendering engine and they will be the same browser. In this manner, Safari for Windows has just shot itself in the foot by removing any differentiating features between itself and its nearest competitior.

I fully expect Safari 5 to make itself even more like Google Chrome (whatever that may look like in 2 years time).

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Steve Workman

Steve Workman is the Head of Web Engineering at Yell. He is also an organiser for London Web Standards is an occasional public speaker, talking about web performance and web standards

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