Apple Inc. at its developer conference on Monday announced a plan to release a version of its Safari Web browser for rival Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating systems.
Referencing industry standard iBench tests that show the Apple browser rendering web pages up to twice as fast as Internet Explorer 7 and up to 1.6 times faster than Firefox 2, Apple chief executive Steve Jobs billed Safari 3.0 as the "fastest browser running on Windows."
Safari 3 features easy-to-manage bookmarks, effortless browsing with easy-to-organize tabs and a built-in RSS reader to quickly scan the latest news and information.
Beginning today, Apple is making a Safari 3 public beta is available as a free download for Macs and PCs over at its Safari website.
"We think Windows users are going to be really impressed when they see how fast and intuitive web browsing can be with Safari," said Jobs. "Hundreds of millions of Windows users already use iTunes, and we look forward to turning them on to Safari's superior browsing experience too."
The speed of Safari combined with its intuitive user interface lets users spend more time surfing the web and less time waiting for pages to load, Apple said. 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.
Pricing & Availability
The free public beta of Safari 3 is available immediately as a download at Apple's Safari website, and is preview software licensed for use on a trial basis for a limited time. The final version of Safari 3 will be available as a feature in the upcoming Mac OS X version 10.5 Leopard, and will be available as a free download to Mac OS X Tiger and Windows users in October.
Safari 3 for Mac OS X requires Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.9 or later, a minimum of 256MB of memory and is designed to run on any Intel-based Mac or a Mac with a PowerPC G5, G4 or G3 processor and built-in FireWire. Safari 3 for Windows requires Windows XP or Windows Vista, a minimum of 256 MB of memory and a system with at least a 500 MHz Intel Pentium processor.