I have been hearing some grumblings in the market about Apple’s Safari release and many are saying Steve Jobs is over-optimistic in thinking there will be one hundred million downloads of Safari for Windows. If this browser is indeed is as fast as Apple says and it has less security challenges than IE, it does have a great chance of being a serious browser contender.
Om Malik has some thoughts on why Jobs and company have released this software. He thinks it is a an ease-of-use play where people will see how easy to use the Apple browser is and then feel more comfortable with Macs and then switch to an iMac.
While this could be part of the reason for this new browser, in my opinion there is a single overriding reason for this browser launch.
In a word, web 2.0 and SaaS. You see the browser is becoming a more integral part of our workday. Software as a Service solutions like SalesForce.com really make the computing platform an afterthought.
In fact the browser is becoming the computing platform where web 2.0 applications driven by AJAX and Flash allow us to have virtually the same functionally as local software without the need to install anything.
In the next 5 years this trend will accelerate and although Apple probably should have rolled out its new browser years ago, better late than never.
Oh and one other thought. Imagine how well Safari will integrate with iTunes and Apple TV. I am sure it will be a more seamless experience to use Safari with Apple products and services than IE. If Apple plays its cards right, Safari for Windows could gain serious market share. If the browser hits 25-30% over the next five years it will be very successful.