FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Safari Beta 3 Windows + Mac

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Well, it’s been mere moments since the Steve Job’s Keynote at WWDC, and one of the more surprising announcements of the presentation had to be Safari on Windows.

Now, when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. All those iPhone owners are going to have to use Safari on their iPhone…and I’ll be their going to have to use Safari on their PCs now too if they want to keep their bookmarks in sync and what not…so…how does the Safari Beta fly on a Windows Machine?

Well…and again, I’ve only played with it for a few minutes, but it’s really kinda slow. The only Windows machine I have access to is a few years old, so it’s not a lighting fast beast, but Firefox 2 has no problems loading on it with lighting efficiency, so I have to wonder about those 1.6 times faster claims against Firefox in the Keynote…


As for the Mac version…well it runs smooth as silk. It’s lighting fast, but unfortunately still brush metal laden.

Both of them have a rendering problem with Apple Gazette that I don’t care for…and that is absent in Firefox. The search box in the second column of the site doesn’t load properly in either the Mac or Windows version of Safari 3…but works fine in Firefox.


I thought it was interesting to see that all the buttons in Safari 3 on Windows have the “bubble” look of Mac buttons…if it weren’t for the speed issue and the Windows bar at the bottom of the screen, I might not even know what operating system I was on…

As far as the “drag a tab” feature…it seems to work well on both platforms. I don’t know how useful it’s going to be to me personally, but I’m sure someone will get a kick out of it…

So…after you have a chance to try them out, let me know what you think…all in all, my Windows experience is bit slow…how about you?

Picture of Kossi Adzo

Kossi Adzo

Kossi Adzo is a technology enthusiast and digital strategist with a fervent passion for Apple products and the innovative technologies that orbit them. With a background in computer science and a decade of experience in app development and digital marketing, Kossi brings a wealth of knowledge and a unique perspective to the Apple Gazette team.

23 thoughts on “FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Safari Beta 3 Windows + Mac

  1. Damn shame about the formatting issue. While I applaud the spread of Apple goodness around the PC planet. I am not sure what the motivation would be for a PC user to use Safari.

    Of course it would be nice to think that lazy web designers would perform more capability testing in the future just in case a PC user was using Safari. The end of IE bias?

  2. Oh and the button design in WordPress under Safari 3 have changed. For the better.

    One cool feature of Safari is the merge windows featured that was mentioned “somewhere” ages ago. Just what I wanted.

  3. Well, page rendering isn’t slow from within my VMware virtual machine – it seems very, very fast. The UI is a bit screwed up though – Apple should be trying to integrate with Aero on Windows Vista.

  4. In response to Mark:

    Safari on Windows makes perfect sense. Come the 29th, there will be over 3 million iPhone users, most of which will be Windows users. It would be nice to get them used to the look and feel of Safari now, since it’s on the iPhone.

    With Safari on your winbox and iPhone, it will be that much easier to sync bookmarks etc. Plus, every time MS puts out an IE fix, Apple would have to make sure that MS hasn’t “broken” something. Since they have no control over IE, they loose thier tight integration. Much like the tight integration that has made the iPod+iTunes combo work.

  5. Sorry, on XP it is unusable crap (not even alpha).
    Crashes during bookmark import, does not render ANY of the
    pages I tried correctly (not even Google result pages).
    I planned to switch from XP to OSX (maybe buying a mini),
    but will rethink now.

  6. @ob –

    Well that makes absolutely no sense.

    If you’re thinking of switching to a Mac…try a Mac, not Beta sofware made by Apple for Windows.


  7. @Michael

    >> If you’re thinking of switching to a Mac…try a Mac, not Beta sofware made by Apple for Windows.

    Absolutely true!
    But I am a bit afraid of what I might get.

    So far I have only experience with Apple software on XP.
    My personal score is 2:1 against Apple:
    – iTunes = good software, nice UI (iPod is great, anyway)
    – QuickTime = problems,problems,problems….
    I did not try fixing the config to hard, maybe my fault.
    (btw: no fullscreen possible ??)
    – Safari = uhh, that is pre-alpha …

  8. @ob –

    Go to an Apple store and try out a real Mac.

    If you don’t have an Apple store near you, then I can understand where that might be harder for you, but when I took the plunge I had never even tried a Mac before…I had only watched videos online….and I like it so much I sort of turned it into my career….


  9. FWIW, I am tying this under Camino 1.5. I see the same render error. I also tried this remotely logged into a Win XP Box running IE 7: same result.

    It seems that only FireFox works with your code.

    You might want build that box differently.

    I’ve run Safari 3 beta on both a PowerBook G4 and the same CP box mentioned above. Both are fast. I have tweaked the preferences, but not imported bookmarks. So far so good.

  10. I think the thing with the button position might be a difference in box model rendering in Web Kit and Mozilla. I don’t have time to really dig into it right now, but I noticed that your DTD is marked “Transitional”, which probably puts the browsers into quirks mode.


  11. I am a windows user that has to use it because of my programing for smart homes.Today I downloaded safari and for being a beta it runs really good and I am happy with it. I install about 2 to 4 apple tv’s a week and I must say people love how simply apple makes it. I am just waiting untill oct so I can by a ibook pro with the new OS so I can have book camp for work. All in all what I am trying to say that apple makes a awsome product and I quiet enjoy it and Im glad they are further expanding to the PC world.

  12. Well, first I would have to both thank you and congratulate you on your concise but accurate and neat coverage of the WWDC yesterday.

    Second about my Safari on PC impresssions, I am writing this on it right now and I have noticed the following:

    1. The scroll button of my laptop (Acer travelmate 3002) doesn’t work and the mouse touchpad scrolling doesn’t work either.

    2. On Google reader when I press the down arow or the page-up/page-dn buttons, the page doesn’t scroll.

    3. I can’t seem to find a button to take me to my browser homepage (I couldn’t find that on mac either for 2 years now). For windows users, this is an issue.

    Finally, I think that giving out a taste of mac to pc users (in the form of Safari) is the first step to more Mac feasts for them. And by that I mean up to the extent of opening Mac OS X to work on any PC (for market share) as Steve said in that D5 interview with Bill Gates “Apple is a software company and Macs are all about OS X” so I guess that there is a dramatic change in Apple’s attitude towards this issue.

    What do you think Michael?

  13. I’m running Safari for windows in my Parallels Vista virtual machine running on a MacBook Pro, and this thing is really fast. In fact, it feels faster than IE7. So far, no crashes.

  14. Displacing a default is a hard and long road to hoe. I think Safari will have a tough time on Windows. I blogged about this in Jan when the first Safari for windows rumors surfaced. Click on my name in this comment if you’re interested in reading more.

  15. I encountered lots more problems with Safari, which, thankfully were solved thanks to a visit to the Apple Support forums.

    I think web page rendering is the least of a user’s problems. It’s more of the web designer’s fault. (And I’m saying this as a web designer who has not had the chance to test her creations on Safari.)

    @GeekBoy: I had problems with iTunes too and had to update it. Not that I care for it much—it’s only useful for the iPod and perhaps some radio.

  16. Was not impressed with the beta in OS X (Intel Mac Mini 1.83GHz). It’s also strange that iTunes was working perfectly this morning, and since installing Safari beta the whole window has gone blank. Uninstalled the Safari beta and iTunes is still broken, but will reinstall and get back to you.

    Also trying it out on a Windows machine, but haven’t had enough experience to tell.

    Funny someone should mention WordPress above – I found that the WordPress editor for writing new posts didn’t work very well at all in Safari beta 3, while it works perfectly in Firefox. Don’t know if this is WordPress’s fault though.

    Everyone should also bear in mind that this software is beta, and therefore won’t be perfect. It’s a shame some people will see this and it’ll give them a bad impression of Apple, because on their own hardware and OS, Apple software is incredibly good.

  17. Incidentaly, I downloaded the iTunes installer from Apple again and reinstalled. It seems to have fixed the problem.

    Don’t know if it really was related to the Safari beta, but the timing makes me very suspicious!

  18. ooo

    Safari 3.0 beta for Windoze feature summary:

    (1) Abject atavism / carelessness in browser design:

    * Cant turn off link underlining. In iExplorer its an option; in Netscape & Firefox you cant turn it *on*. Pretty strange.

    * Sublink support is quirky. Theyre not marked as “visited” nor do they incur the appearance of the “back” icon when clicked, although theyre fine once its there unless it disappears which it does irregularly. Netscape, iExplorer, & Firefox go ahead & support “back” buglessly after any first link right away via both the mouse & keyboard. So too in fact do Lynx & the RealPlayer browser. Thatz kinda unique.

    (2) Disinterest in Windoze application usability standards:

    * Font resize: ctl-[+] & ctl-[-] on the alpha keyboard only. Both the iMac & PC have VT100 style + / – keys on the numeric pad. Why wouldnt they be supported?

    * Doesnt use Windoze taskbar except for support for “restore” via mouse only. Does not maximise or minimise either via mouse or keyboard, but *only* by clicking the NE corner frame icons. Must be very Maclike.

    (3) Pushing the technical envelope:

    * Runs elementary Java with itz own machine. Doeznt run this tho:

    Probably works just fine under OSspaceX.

    * Wont load an SWF from another application (eg clicking on a link in eMail or using Windoze “open with”). Itz blocked by the “new windows open with” setting; clearly no attempt is being made to support such a thing. Runs the same way under OSspaceX which is odd because if you click on an SWF link in eMail it will go ahead & invoke Safari (apparently) & then present you with anything from a blank screen to a homepage instead.


    Itz only fast when itz running on an iMac. On XP itz just slow & cute. Love it tho 🙂

  19. eh i installed it about 2 days ago for a beta its pretty decent a few little problems as many people have already talked about such at opening files in browser and flash and remeber username and passwords for sites and also the ability to change shortcuts ex; mouse buttons for forward and back etc but i’m guessing by final it will have all its kinks worked out.

  20. Working out great on my XP machine, as for the Vista – the page isn’t even opening fully. And even after launching it 15 times, it only launches faster each time until it gets stuck still not fuly opening the screen, so as for navigation buttons, etc – just not loading. Not to say it was a pain to download on vista, as I kept getting the “code 2738” error, nutil i had to go into command promt to engage the .dll. Come on Apple, not u too have a problem making things Vista capable.

    Even though ti works well on XP, I sitll dont see why I need to go through so much trouble just to add a tab. Plus, its nto even that “cute” to look at. Lets try again Jobs.

  21. @ ob

    I am a first time Mac user/owner – have a 15” MacBook Pro and after 20 years on Windows I can safely say it was a dull uninspiring 20 years. It took me less than a week to become totally familiar with all but the most complicated software/programs and with the speed, reliability and real user friendliness of Mac’s you can’t go wrong.

    It is a shame that Microsoft has such a monopoly on OS usage as many people just don’t even think that another system could be better for them.

    Productivity wise there really is no comparison . . .And when you can find a laptop that performs as well, comes with as much USEFUL software and looks as good as a Macbook Pro I will be very suprised.

    Take the plunge, you will not be disappointed!!!

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