Safari Windows Updated, Brings Welcome Changes

If you browser around the internet, particularly on tech sites, you’ll find person after person praising Apple for releasing Safari 3.0.1 a mere 3 days after releasing the first public beta on Monday. At first, I thought – here we go! First off, it’s a BETA release, and I *expect* it to be updated. Secondly, people are going crazy about Apple’s fast reaction time, but I wondered if it were Microsoft, would the reaction be the same, or would it be “They release a product and it takes less than 24 hours to find a major vulnerability!?”

But alas, I ran Software Update and updated my Safari/Win install at work to 3.0.1. Whereas 3.0 was a major disappointment at work – fonts were a mess, pages had major problems with rendering, and the browser would crash randomly – a few minutes after install I can tell you that 3.0.1, on my computer at least, is a HUGE leap forward. The browser hasn’t crashed on me outside of one bug that existed before (maximizing on the slave screen of a dual-monitor setup), the thing is SO much better!

Safari is far from usable as my main browser. The thing is feature-barren, is far less customizable than Firefox and Opera and even Camino, and on Windows, it sticks out like a sore thumb. That said, I just love having the rendering engine on my windows machine, I love that it’s available for iPhone and Mac-friendly web development.

Kudos to Apple for porting this great app to Windows fairly successfully. Microsoft has been very slow to move to OS X and Intel; they have let RDP stagnate, they have let Office go 5 years with no update, they have no management tools that work on Mac, no IE, no WMP, not even a fully compatbile Outlook Web Access (OWA)… yet.

I am usually wary of excessive praise on Apple, but after seeing the Leopard previews pushing the evolution of the desktop and the accessibility of backups, the iPhone pushing the mobile experience, and Safari pushing web standards, I’m really feeling good about what they are doing.