Safari for Windows Beta

A beta version of Safari unveiled this week by Apple CEO Steve Jobs that's aimed squarely at Microsoft Windows users.In what has become something of a hallmark of just about every Jobs keynote, the Apple chief used his talk at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) to announce yet another "one more thing" - that Apple would port its popular (on the Mac side of the world) Safari browser to Windows, with a beta version that was available shortly thereafter for downloading. During his speech, Jobs said that Apple simply wants to increase its browser market share, which seems logical: What better way to fluff one's numbers than releasing software on a platform with the largest installed base.Safari on Windows looks pretty much like Safari on the Mac, save for the shape and positioning of the close, minimise and zoom buttons. Other than that, it's nearly identical. The feature sets are the same, as well, from bookmark organisation to the built-in RSS reader. Even the text renders the same, though there's debate over whether that's good or bad. And as you'd expect, the menus - which show up in the menu bar on Macs - are in their proper Windows location at the top of the Safari browser window.Another new feature is movable tabs. They do exactly what you'd expect: allow you to move tabs around when browsing just by dragging and dropping. As an added effect, pulling a tab from the tab bar actually causes the tab to shift from a tab to an icon-size preview of the Web page. Releasing the mouse at this point scales the window up to full size, similar to MacOS X's Dock effect, Scale.Other Safari mainstays such as the Google/Yahoo search bar remain. Because of this, some believe that one reason for Apple's sudden interest in Web browser market share may be ad-related revenue. According to John Gruber at daringfireball.net, Apple generates $2 million dollars a month through its Google integration, making more than $25 million a year.Interestingly, a division has opened up between those who like the way Safari renders text and those who don't. Safari's text rendering is noticeably softer than that used by other browsers, and some users have complained that the font appearance looks blurry.Despite some beta hiccups, various reviews have confirmed one consistent fact: Safari is fast. Very fast. Apple says this browser renders HTML twice as fast as Internet Explorer 7 and 1.6 times faster than Firefox 2.Time will show.