Friday, January 12th, 2007

Rumour: Safari for Windows?

Category: WebKit

Mary Jo Foley digs deep in her reporting. This time she noticed a wiki entry on the Mozilla side that thinks Apple may have Safari on Windows with likely ties to iTunes & .Mac.

I don’t know if this makes any sense. The reason I fire up Safari is:

  • Very fast on the Mac
  • Nice, native components

Would SafariWin just use Windows components? Would it be significantly faster than the other options on Windows to make it worth while?

As of this writing, the poll on Mary’s site had the following results:

should safari win

Disclaimer: this is huge speculation

Posted by Dion Almaer at 9:42 am

3.5 rating from 40 votes


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Apparently the Wiki edit which mentioned this was a mistake, according to this digg comment. If more people start paying attention to Safari as an A-Grade browser though, that would be nice. :)

Comment by Scott Schiller — January 12, 2007

I doubt it will happen but it should would help in making sure sites are Mac compatible for those of us without Macs. I want to support Safari but if I have to by a expensive machine to do so then Mac users will just have to put up with flaking support for Safari.

Comment by Eric Anderson — January 12, 2007

I want to support Safari but if I have to by a expensive machine to do so then Mac users will just have to put up with flaking support for Safari.

I’m sorry to put it that way, but that doesn’t sound very professional. Thinsk a bout it: I want to produce nice designs but if I have to buy an expensive program to do so, then my client’s users will just have to put up with shitty ones.

You can’t be serious can you?

Comment by Tobie Langel — January 12, 2007

Sorry for the typos.

Comment by Tobie Langel — January 12, 2007

I second the comment that Safari on Windows would be a great thing for web developers. And for Apple.

Just last week I rewrote the photo gallery engine on my site, using the YUI library for Ajax, panels, and effects. I test with Firefox, IE, and Opera – and would have loved to test with Safari but I don’t have a Mac. Sure enough, there was a quirk on Safari that took a couple days to iron out. First I had my sister across the country testing for me, and then I found (way cheaper than browsercam) and solved the problem.

If I’d had Safari on Windows it would have worked fine right out of the gate. Seems that this would be a great thing for Apple since web apps would be much more likely to work perfectly on their platform.

– Jim

Comment by Jim — January 12, 2007

Comment by test — January 12, 2007

IMHO the first reason to port Safari on Windows is to expand user base and make it more important for web developer. At this time Safari compatibility isn’t so important and many sites have problems with Safari. A Larger user base can change it quickly

Comment by Wezzy — January 12, 2007

I suspect the real reason for porting webkit (the rendering engine in Safari) to Windows is so that iTunes for Windows will correctly display pages from the iTunes Music Store. I doubt that there is much more to it than that.

Comment by weldon — January 12, 2007

Honestly I think the only use of safari for Mac would be for web developers without a Mac to test their work … I doubt they could have any chance to gain any significant market share.

Comment by Massimo — January 12, 2007

You can check out swift (WebKit in Windows) right now at – proof of concept-type features, so don’t expect to use it day-to-day. It definitely looks promising, though.

Comment by Shawn Lauriat — January 12, 2007

There’s a project in its infancy, swift. Right now it’s very fragile and the full WebKit implementation isn’t in place yet. But it’s worth watching possibly.

Comment by Mike Ritchie — January 12, 2007

And of course, since Adobe Apollo uses WebKit, they’ve already got it ported to some degree on Windows.

Comment by Ben Galbraith — January 12, 2007

Great, just what I need, another frickin browser to support. What are the chances that the windows version behaves just like the Mac version? 1%?

Comment by Udi — January 12, 2007

This rumor has been blown way out of proportion. It’s based on a statement posted on a wiki that might not be anything more than pure speculation. Furthermore, the wiki doesn’t even say “Apple might port Safari to Windows”, but rather “WebKit may be ported to Windows”. Even if someone decides to port an open-source rendering engine to Windows doesn’t mean that Apple has anything to do with it, or that the resulting application will look like Safari.

Comment by Derek Poon — January 12, 2007

There will not be Safari for Windows.
And if Apple were interested in having more sites support Safari, then all they’d need to do is provide a free “browsercam” for Safari type service gratis.

Comment by ajaxianfading — January 13, 2007

Haha, there is no way Safari is coming for Windows. Only reason iTunes was ported to Windows was to allow Windows-using iPod owners to manage their iPods and buy media. Porting Safari to Windows would make no sense for Apple. Apple likes to ‘reinvent’ or make things better, and there’s just not much, if anything, they could add to internet browsers in Windows.

Comment by Gudbergur — January 13, 2007

Plus – isn’t WebKit already built in iTunes? Does it use some other rendering engine on Windows to render the iTunes store?

Comment by Gudbergur — January 13, 2007

A browser for Windows by Apple? This is only the beginning…. Sharing the same CPUs was just the first step in Apple’s quest for world dominance. Jobs head-fakes them at CES with the IPod / IPhone and everyone goes for it. Meanwhile, Apple engineers are secretly readying Apple OS XV, codenamed ‘Liger’ which will run on both platforms. PC users will find white melamine electrostatic spray kits in their O/S packages to help make them think they have an Apple product. Don’t worry, you be fine after the switch.

Comment by Michael — January 13, 2007

Um, webkit is being ported to Windows right now. It’s not a rumor. Go to the website, surf in their Bugzilla database. At least Adobe is doing this for sure, but as far as I know, others are also working on Windows portability fixes for webkit.

Safari, OTOH, that’s a bonafide rumor. But any browser on Windows with webkit is going to share feature compatibility with Safari in the same way that cross platform versions of gecko currently do. One or two really minor things here and there, but for the most part 99% identical.

And as has been said in the Safari blog before, iTunes does not use webkit to render the ITMS on either platform.

Comment by Richard York — January 13, 2007

I’m voting with two hands for Safari on Windows.

Yes, as many says it’s would be very benifical for developers to test different browsers on the same computer/os. On other hand, who can say for sure that Safari on Windows will have exactly same features and bugs (most importanlty!) as Mac version?..

Comment by Valery Silaev — January 13, 2007

As a newer web developer, I would love to see Safari ported to windows/linux. As much as I’d love to buy a mac right now, it’s not in the budget, so if I can test out my sites in another browser I’m all for that! Bring it on!

Comment by Steve Ehrenberg — January 13, 2007

WebKit for Windows, as Richard said, is not a rumor. It is coming.

Comment by Dylan Schiemann — January 13, 2007

Anyone who doesn’t want to see Safari on Windows is either both (a) not a web developer and (b) not a Safari/Mac user or (c) not really thinking of the consequences of whether or not Safari makes it to Windows.

Comment by Trevor — January 13, 2007

In my comment above, readers should s/Safari/WebKit.


What are the chances that the windows version behaves just like the Mac version? 1%?

Most likely text would be the only thing that would not render exactly the same, because Safari uses Quartz (display PDF) to render text, a technology that Apple likely won’t port to Windows. Besides that, WebKit is WebKit is WebKit. The only reason, for example, IE/Mac rendered so differently from IE/Windows was because it was built from scratch with a completely different rendering engine.

Comment by Trevor — January 13, 2007

are the going to fix it first?


Comment by Hubris Sonic — January 14, 2007

I like the idea. Bringing Safari to Windows would help web developers write web sites that are compatible with Safari on the Mac. At least one would hope that both Safari’s would work the same.

Comment by Mike — January 15, 2007

Who can honestly say they want an iPhone at this point in its lifecycle? Honestly? I totally want a copy of Duke Nukem Forever. I need it. Now.

Comment by Dan — January 15, 2007

total is 101%, there is a rounded problem…

Comment by fernando — January 16, 2007

Aren’t major updates to Safari one of the things that Apple gets people to pay for OS X’s upgrades? Why would they give it away for free to people that aren’t even their loyal customers.

As a developer, this would be useful since it knocks off an extra development environment requirement.

Comment by Andy Kant — January 16, 2007

i hope Konqueror (the KDE browser that Safari is based on) will render pages equal to Safari/Webskit in the future. I’m wondering why it doesn’t anyway?

Apple should be thankful for what they’ve been given!

Comment by tom — January 24, 2007

Here it is, on Windows.

Comment by Krule — June 12, 2007

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