Steve Jobs is always good for a surprise announcement, although usually the media has got an idea of what is about to be revealed. Not so at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2007 in San Francisco today, where the Apple CEO shocked everyone by announcing that the much loved Safari web browser client would be made available on the Windows platform. What’s more, it is being made available immediately and can be downloaded as a free public Beta here.
Apple says that Safari is the fastest browser running on Windows, basing this claim upon industry standard iBench tests. Indeed, these tests would seem to suggest it can render web pages twice as quickly as Internet Explorer 7 and one and a half times as fast as Firefox 2.
Safari 3 features easy-to-manage bookmarks, effortless browsing with easy-to-organise tabs and a built-in RSS reader to quickly scan the latest news and information. Other Safari features now available to Windows users include SnapBack, one-click access to an initial search query; resizable text fields; and private browsing to ensure that information about an individual’s browsing history isn’t stored.
“We think Windows users are going to be really impressed when they see how fast and intuitive web browsing can be with Safari” Steve Jobs told DaniWeb, continuing “hundreds of millions of Windows users already use iTunes, and we look forward to turning them on to Safari’s superior browsing experience too.”
Requiring XP or Vista, 256Mb of memory and at least 500MHz of Intel Pentium oomph, the final release version, also free of charge, is expected to be made available in October.