Jobs does Windows with open source

Think of Safari as Apple outreach. Apple is the most proprietary company in the computing universe, more proprietary even than Microsoft. It's tossing some open source code over the side, wondering what the so-called "community" will do with it.

Steve Jobs from the BBC
There are two major tech stories this decade. Open source is one.

Steve Jobs is the other. Jobs put Apple back into the computing mainstream, starting with iTunes and the iPod. Without Apple, where has the excitement been in PC computing this decade?

Now Jobs has combined the two trends by releasing a Windows version of his Safari browser, as open source.

It has drawn some horrible reviews, along with outright contempt from the Mozilla Foundation, whose Firefox must compete with it.

I think all this misses the point.

Think of Safari as Apple outreach. Apple is the most proprietary company in the computing universe, more proprietary even than Microsoft. It's tossing some open source code over the side, wondering what the so-called "community" will do with it.

So far, they've hacked it. But there are things you can do with code other than hack it. Over the next year or two, that's what Jobs is looking to see. Will Safari be improved? Will the community which claims to love Apple and open source code make it better? Or is all this just talk?

So don't download Safari to use it. See its weaknesses as opportunities. See what you can do with it. What can an outstanding open source browser be?

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