Safari for Windows from Apple? Mozilla thinks so

Summary:Will Apple release a version of its Safari browser for Windows? The Mozilla Foundation seems to believe such a move is a distinct possibility.

Updated 6/11/07: Will Apple release a version of its Safari browser for Windows? [Editor's Note: For more coverage, see WWDC: Safari on Windows, Leopard gets 64 bits.] The Mozilla Foundation seems to believe such a move is a distinct possibility.

Buried in the wiki information the Mozilla Foundation posted this week about its future plans for Firefox is a statement under the "Observations & Assumptions" section that reads:

"Apple may have Safari on Windows with likely ties to iTunes & .Mac"

No further details. That's it.

(If this is true, you've got to wonder what's next. Apple porting the iPhone interface to Windows Mobile? Truth can be stranger than fiction ....)

I contacted Apple for a comment on Mozilla's Safari prediction, and got a pat response from a corporate spokesman: "I'm afraid that Apple doesn't comment on rumors or speculation."

I know there are plenty of folks who'd welcome having yet another browser, especially Safari, available for Windows.

There have been rumors about Apple making "Cocoa," its object-oriented programming environment for Mac OS X, run on Windows, which would enable more easily a Windows port of Safari.

In the interim, other developers have released their best attempts at Safari-like browsers for Windows. One example: Swift, based on the Apple WebKit rendering engine (which Safari uses). The 0.2 alpha version is the latest available, downloadable release.

There seem to be two schools of thought out there. One says Apple would be foolish to port any of its crown jewels to Windows -- for the same reason that Microsoft isn't interested in porting Office to Linux. Why help the enemy?

But there's another camp that thinks Apple porting Safari to Windows would be pure genius, for the same reason that making iTunes run on Windows was: If you can't beat the company with a 95 percent desktop operating-system monopoly, why not find ways to infiltrate its empire (and maybe win over some converts, in the process).

Which camp am I in? I think Apple's porting Safari to Windows would be a brilliant move. What's your take?


Topics: Apple, Enterprise Software, Windows


Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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