Apple's Safari goes on the Browser War hunt


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Last summer Apple hired David Hyatt, lead programmer for Chimera. Rumors start to swirl about what Apple was planning, and this week at Macworld Expo we now know it's Safari, a new Web browser. At his keynote presentation Tuesday, Apple CEO Steve Jobs stressed the speed of Safari, specifically over Microsoft's Internet Explorer as a major feature.

"Safari is the fastest browser on the Mac, and we predict that many will feel it is the best browser ever created," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "We are bringing innovation back into this category with the first all new browser created in many years."

Safari is currently in public beta, and can be downloaded for free. Major features include integrated Google searching, "SnapBack," a way to jump to the top level of a current web site (for example, after reading this story you can "snap back" to our home page, even if you clicked through multiple articles), an iTunes like bookmarking library and automatic pop-up ad blocking. Other features include integration with the Address Book for contact URLs, support for HTML, XHTML 1.0, DOM, CSS, SSL,JavaScript and Netscape style plug-ins like QuickTime(R) with MPEG-4, Flash, Shockwave and Real. And finally, Safari's rendering engine is based on KHTML, a popular open source project.

Analysis:

The question may be where Apple is going with Safari? Is it just reinventing the wheel or is there a larger plan in the works? Trying out Safari, it seems to run fairly well, and while IGM's pages render correctly, I get file not found errors when hitting the Back button, and some other odd errors. Although turning on pop-up blocking seemed to have fixed the problem.