Safari for Windows Released

Yup. You all heard that? Safari, the default web browser on Mac, now also has a Windows version ready to be downloaded. It is a 8MB download without the Quicktime runtime, but still contains useless attachments like Bonjour and Apple software updater, although these are optional and you don't need to install them. Anyway, the installation is easy and quick, and within minutes I have Safari running on my Windows XP notebook.

Safari running on Windows

A few observations so far:

  • It is quick and slim. It uses around 18MB after bootstrapping to a blank page, which is a tiny bit smaller than Opera 9. I won't mention how much Firefox uses.

  • Everything looks like it is on a Mac. Every widgets, default fonts and UI elements have Mac's look and feel. Good thing is that it is how Safari developers would like it to look like. Bad thing is it is inconsistent with the rest of desktop.

  • It is not registered as a regular window, so my virtual desktop manager of choice does not work with it. D'oh.

  • I managed to hang it, i.e. not responding to any input and refuses to redraw itself, after 20 minutes playing with it. I guess they can excuse themselves with that "Beta" tag. Firefox is only a tad better in this department as well.

  • Functionality is pretty limited in comparison to Firefox and Opera. Worse, Safari for Windows does not yet have many plugins like Safari for Mac. Good thing is it is less likely to catch bad-ware this way, but I doubt many developers will want to use Safari as the main development platform though.

  • Key binding is not always inline with Firefox or Internet Explorer. That is annoy.

I am still keeping it on my system so I don't need to fire up my old Mac to check whether some HTML pages I made is working properly for the Safari users. Webkit is certainly an impressive rendering engine, and I am hoping a better packaged Drosera and Web Inspector will be available on Windows soon -- that will definitely makes Safari a more welcomed browser amongst the web developer community.