Windows Safari

Published 16 years, 10 months past

Because the world needed another browser/platform combination to test, Apple has released a beta version of Safari for Windows.  Why?  Arguably, it’s to make sure that Windows developers have access to the browser in the iPhone, so they can make sure that their Web 2.0 sites work on the iPhone without having to buy new computers.  (Though this also robs them of the primary justification for getting an iPhone on the company dime.  Haven’t they suffered enough, Steve?)  On that note, I hope this new foray will expand the pool of people contributing ideas to Greg‘s post about cool new apps for the iPhone.  (There’s already a truly brilliant idea in there, albeit with a name I can’t use here due to readers behind content filters.  Who’s going to make it happen?)

It will also be interesting to see if the presence of another highly standards-compliant browser (joining Firefox and Opera) on the Windows platform spurs more Windows-based web developers to pressure Microsoft to maintain their momentum on the issue, so as not to see IE fall behind all the competitors.  As you might expect, I certainly hope so.

Remember: this is a beta!  There’s going to be weirdness.  PPK, for example, ran into layout problems that may or may not be related to the video card in one of his systems.  Other people are reporting crashes; though many of them are reporting crashes on CNN‘s site, which crashes my OS X copy of Safari from time to time.  Interesting to see that kind of cross-platform crash consistency.

The beta’s certainly worth checking out if you’re interested, but—as with the IE7 betas—do not start reworking your site to address layout problems in this beta.  Report them to the WebKit team instead.  When the final version (or a feature-frozen RC version) is released, it’ll be time for testing, charting, and possible reworking.

Interesting times indeed.  If you’ll excuse me, I have to go make some changes to my browser-release timeline slides.

Comments (43)

  1. Does or will Safari for Windows render in the same manner as its Mac counterpart?

    Thank you.

  2. It really sucks … a lot of sites i surf every day are broken with this “beta”.
    I know it’s a beta, but it seems to be an “alpha”.

  3. Interesting how browsers crash correctly in a cross-platform environment but they don’t render the content correctly. Maybe one day this will all be fixed, maybe.

  4. The latest Firefox 3 alpha is more stable than this beta – it even crashes on Google site.

  5. Mine hasn’t crashed yet, but none of my bookmarklets work.

  6. Has anyone figured out a workaround for the Lucida Grande font problem? By default, no text appears in any chrome. When I remove the fonts from the Safari.resources folder, a terrible substitute font is used. If I add the Lucida Grande font files to Windows/Fonts, the chrome text disappears again.

    I assume there’s another font on my system that’s causing the trouble, but it will be a real pain to try to figure it out.

  7. No doubt, almost more alpha than beta. I can get it running with no fonts on my Dell laptop, but on my work machine every time I try running the install it says the file is corrupt. I hope they get everything ironed out before they finalize it.

  8. @Greg: there are a number of fixes for the ‘no menu text’ problem in this thread:

    The problem revolves around SafariWin choking if there are more than about 800 fonts installed (this includes variants, so bold, italic, etc. in one face count separately). So many of us designers are running into this problem.

    Using the fix where you copy the ‘keys’ into the font file worked on one of my machines, but not the other. (Look for a post by ForwardMotion for the ‘keys’, copy them into the file and remember to make the file read-only when you’ve edited it.) I hope you have good luck with it!

  9. Yeah, ‘beta’ is one thing…but apparently the XP Safari doesn’t work at all with screen readers such as JAWS on Windows.

    Is it that it’s really an alpha, or is it that, through things such as Google and Flickr, we’ve begun to misunderstand the meaning of ‘beta’, or is it neither of those, and someone at Apple forgot to write to the Windows API hooks for such things?

  10. Have been looking at the Safari for Windows browser for the last four hours. Installation was a snap on three separate XP Pro SP2 machines. Have only seen some very minor issues regarding any rendering “weirdness”. No issues experienced with any multi-media nor file downloads. No crashing issues on CNN. But then, didn’t click on the Lou Dobbs link.

    Safari’s Phish identification is on par with IE7 — in other words, in the toilet. No judgments are being made on a Beta release regarding security. Just tough to pass up a free jab at IE7 and security.

    This browser renders significantly faster — as in major. Didn’t experience the normal slow down in rendering on with the Comment Preview feature.

    Only one plug-in issue so far — Windows Media Player.

    However, did expect issues on the notoriously FUBAR’d site of No issues there except for the expected uncontrolled nosebleeding.

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  13. I think Apple did great harm to their credibility by releasing this unstable, buggy pre-alpha. On non-English Windows installations it does not display any texts in bold or italics (i.e. no headlines)! A click on the bookmark manager crashes it immediately, entering a few letters in any input field too – hair-raising bugs which do not shed a friendly light on the code quality of WebKit. But yes, it is great that Safari finally will work on Windows machines – maybe by the end of the year.

  14. I’m well pleased. Regardless of the alpha/beta status, in time it will get to release quality. And having Safari’s Webkit rendering nice and native on windows is a fantastic time saver for me. It means that now I can get layouts built and do a simple test on ‘real’ Safari on a Mac at the end of it, and expect there to be relatively few amendments.

  15. No fonts, crashes… sadly unusable for me. Read my account: Apple Safari 3 Beta Problems On Windows

  16. You don’t think that it’s apple’s first step towards resurrecting yellow box (OpenStep for NT-based OSs)?

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  18. the safari 3 beta works fine on my windows machine. However, on the very same day I installed it, safari 2 on my mac went kaput! It just hangs when I try to launch it. I have read plenty about the new beta online but so far no one has mentioned any new issues with safari 2.. any ideas what may have happened? did they *ha* stop support for mac???

  19. Unfortunately it crashes as soon as I enter my proxy information, so I haven’t been able to try it out. :(

  20. It doesn’t even load up on my two Windows XP machines. Installs, then crashes before even a hint of a screen.

    I’m really disappointed by Apple on this. Even as an Apple fan I just feel this is a knee-jerk release – too early for general consumption. That is unless something too cunning for my tiny mind is happening..

  21. I just feel this is a knee-jerk release – too early for general consumption

    Er… “beta”, remember.

  22. Safari and Standards is one thing, but during my latest test (eight weeks ago or so), it wouldn’t even render my XML pages with a client-side XSLT AT ALL; just a blank screen. I don’t think I use fancy constructs in my XSLT, not even includes. IE and FF don’t have the slightest difficulties. So Safari does best what KHTML does best (as I understand it, the XSLT support in Safari has been implemented by Apple, no?).

    Still, Apple Software on PC hardware is really what I’m interested in; I DO hope Steve is silently working on ridding the world of his incredible hardware; until now EVERY single piece of Apple hardware in my fingers failed after a few months, sad but true. I know there are many of you out there who don’t follow me on that, but spend some time near the service desk of your favourite dealer and you’ll hear unbelievable stories. Enough to make you hope you’ll never be in the situation of those who DO own defective Apple hardware, I pormise. I hope I’ll be able to run Mac OS on my PC workstation soon.

    Yes I know it’s not likely to happen given the iPhone and the fact that Apple always had complete control over their computer hardware which made MacOS easier to maintain, BUT they changed from ATI to nVidia now, so maybe… in 2012… I might be able to run Mac OS MMXII… on a sixteen-fold sixty-four-core PC or whatever will be juut below high-end then… Don’t take away my hope… because Vista is not exactly what I consider an alternative… Steve! Can you hear me?


  23. Apple’s two day response for an updated BETA that corrects uncovered security flaws was impressive.

    Have been using this BETA to preview during development a new XHTML 1.1 [application/xhtml+xml] ASP.NET WCAG Priority 3 project [first opportunity to use the Meyer Reset, albeit slightly modified] and am picking up no rendering issues. NOTE: This project meets a very basic precept of keeping things simple and stupid.

    If Apple delivers upon its promises and takes security seriously, this is a browser that may be well positioned for the masses.


    Regarding assistive user agents and Safari, GW Micro, developer of Window-Eyes, has informed me:

    Accessibility support for Windows based screen readers will be up to Apple. We have been informed that they hope to provide this kind of functionality in the near future. When they do, we will be able to take advantage of it.

    Developers and users of the BETA can use the “bug” button to submit feature requests to Apple.

  24. They managed to actually not let it install on my Dutch Windows Vista installation.

    I mean, I have NEVER encountered a piece of software that had trouble whatsoever like this. I don”t need a localisation, I am perfectly fine with English menus, I just want to run the damn thing.

    And in the meanwhile, everyone”s talking about it and I can”t try it. Bah.

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  26. Apple. What a bunch of jerks. The stupid browser even looks like it is running on a Mac OS. It appears as if some foreign immigrant browser has moved into my computer. I see enough foreign nonsense when I leave the house, I dont need to see it on my PC as well. You know, when MS releases software for the Mac platform, it doesn’t have Windows-based styling. This begs the question, why in the hell did those morons go out of there way to make it look like a Mac app running on Windows? Ugh, that gray really pisses me off.

    Hey Eric, where is the “Remember Me” checkbox? :)

  27. FYI – 6/26/2007 – there is another update from Apple to the beta download and if you were having trouble with fonts etc. – it seems to be fixed now – I was finally able to install without a problem. More security issues were also fixed.

  28. On the Mac I enjoy using Safari but I think it looks awful in the windows environment. I can understand why they are doing it but I’ll never swith. I have tried almost every browser available at one point or another but keep coming back to FF. I do think that Safari will be popular especially with people who STARTED on a mac and migrated to a PC.

  29. Safari is very nice browser for both Mac and Windows, will it take over the firefox ;)

  30. Back to the reason why they even bothered to develop Safari for Windows? Once they figure out how to develop it I can see another Mac vs PC commercial on the horizon. Once they figure out how to stop the thing from crashing. Right now it just works like IE.

  31. I don’t care much about Apple reasons – though i believe that helping people to migrate to OS X and applications for the iPhone must be some of the reasons they did it.
    As a developer, i see only the advantages – for example seeing some of the things that will affect Safari for OS X while developing a site is good enough for me. =O)

  32. I’m sorry to repeat the question, but does anyone know, whether or not Safari Renders the same on Windows as it does on the Mac. Is it possible to use it for browser testing?

  33. andrej–

    For the most part, Safari for Windows appears to render the same as it does for the Mac except for a few minor CSS bugs that I am seeing within the Windows betas.

    Your question could be better answered by someone, such as Meyer, who is much more knowledgeable than I.

  34. @ thacker: thanks a lot. I guess it turns out as cheap possibility to test safari on a windows machine.

  35. The latest Firefox 3 alpha is more stable than this beta.. ;)

  36. I don’t like Safari. Even on my Mac. This Konquerer clone renders HTML/CSS (especially form inputs) without recognizing anything you try to tell it.

    To bring the piece of crap to the Windows world can only be part of Steves strategy increasing his “market share” and to show more people the “smooth” Mac world.

    Just my 2 cent.

  37. Apple has developed cool soft- and hardware in the past. Perhaps these beta releases were more like a technical preview, but I’m sure in the end the Safari browser for Windows will be as good as the other software we already use (iTunes, Quicktime etc.).

  38. I am pretty happy when knowing Safari is available in Windows. I could test my web application into several browser across OSes before deploying to client. When I open my web application in Safari for Windows I get many glitches in layout but I still waiting for next alpha or beta or gamma or whatever version. I need this browser to test my web application because I can’t buy Mac.

  39. I’ve just tried out Safari 3.0.3 on Windows 2000. It really is the fastest browser I’ve ever seen, mostly its speed for CSS’ special effects is awesome.


    S. Ali Tokmen

  40. Safari on Windows is not just unstable, it is deliberately deceptive:

    When you select the option “Accept Cookies: NEVER”, it does not honor that: it stores cookies permanently ANYWAY. (That is why the “show cookies” button is disabled… so you don’t notice that you are being lied to). Apple was sued in 2004 for deliberately using an Eminem song in an iTunes commercial after permission had been denied… so the company appears to have an official policy of acting in bad faith. [1]* Apple’s “Safari wardrobe malfunction” is likewise deliberate–because if it was not, the “Accept Cookies: NEVER” option would be disabled too (not just the “show cookies” option).

    If, by fraudulent labeling, your software claims that it does something which it does not, isn’t that false advertising? (And for the purpose of litigation, does it even matter if Apple’s false advertising was intended for marketing gains, or for corporate espionage?) It’s just not credible that this was a simple mistake–and now that we have prima facie evidence of the company’s dishonesty, we have to wonder if Safari is collecting OTHER information about our online activities and transmiting it back to Apple. They could be electronically sifting through all of this to determine who is reading what… or who is talking about what Apple is doing. The possibility is not mere fantasy, because we already learned that Apple’s management is psychotically-paranoid about “leaks” when they threatened to sue bloggers and website operators just for talking about what might be included in the next version of MacOS (leopard). [2]*

    Apple’s management has clearly gone insane: they are overwhelmed with paranoia about software competition, without any justification. What can realistically “compete” with MacOS? Linux? —Different versions of Linux have incompatible applications and installers! That’s not a threat. —Windows, then? …Ridiculous! The basic Windows architecture is fatally-flawed, and Microsoft is too busy trying to fix serious bugs at the most fundamental level of the OS to worry about improving the user-interface in the near-term. Windows dominates the market ONLY because Apple won’t license MacOS to PC manufacturers: it is common knowledge that the “appeal” of Windows has always been linked to the freedom to choose a hardware vendor, not any kind of superior technology. Besides, the next Windows release of any significance is years away. As always, it will perform worse and cost more than the previous version (and it will be pathetically unstable). In comparison to the alternatives, MacOS X is already so superior that there is nothing worth hiding about planned improvements… and yet Apple is obsessed with silencing even POSITIVE criticism of it! There is just no polite way to put this: it is absolute madness… and if they are that crazy, there’s no telling what else they might do for the sake of this paranoia. Apple sure has some great engineers, but the company’s directors have lost their minds, and this Safari browser trickery only serves to underscore the point. Honestly, don’t they have anything better to do with their time?!


  41. We support Safari on Mac platform for our web-site. Is testing Safari on Windows equivalent (at least at this point of time) to testing the browser in Safari?


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  43. Dang MacSnacker, you have seriously got to bump up the Ritalin dosage. ;-)

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