“The world’s best browser”, as Apple claims, also available for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows XP and Windows Vista, has been updated yet again, although still in beta and is now up for grabs. But to the disappointment of the Cupertino-based hardware company, Windows users have failed to discard Internet Explorer or Firefox in order to convert to Safari 3. Since its introduction on June 11, at WWDC 2007, in San Francisco, Safari 3 has only superficially impacted the browser market. Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, was betting on the popularity of the iTunes to drive the adoption of Safari 3, but this was not the case.
As of October 2007, according to data published by Net Applications, Safari 3 had a market share of just 0.62%. Of course the fact that the browser is still in beta helped little with the uptake, despite a promising start. Following the first 48 hours of availability, Apple was celebrating the first million downloads of Safari 3. Of course that the initial hype then toned down. And the Cupertino company was in less of a hurry to applaud the plethora of vulnerabilities plaguing the only browser that was designed to be “secure by default, from day one”, within the first hours since release.
“The Safari 3 Beta for Windows version 3.0.4 Update is recommended for all users running Safari 3 Beta for Windows. It includes new features as well as improvements to stability, compatibility, performance, and security,” reads a fragment of the release notes accompanying the browser. The update in fact delivers a range of new features, as well as enhancements across the product. Although Apple promised the final version of Safari 3 concomitantly with the launch of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, this is not the case. “Safari Public Beta is preview software licensed for use on a trial basis for a limited time. Do not use Safari Public Beta in a commercial operating environment or with important data,” Apple warns users.
And although “Apple engineers designed Safari to be secure from day one,” as the Cupertino company has bragged, Safari 3 Beta Update 3.0.4 is also designed to patch numerous security vulnerabilities. A total of 10 security holes are plugged via the update, although Apple failed to reveal the severity of the flaws.
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