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Apple pushes Safari on Windows via iTunes updater

Company makes a more aggressive move to gain browser market share by offering Windows users the option of downloading Safari 3.1 in its Apple Software Update.

Apple has started offering Windows users its Safari 3.1 Web browser through the same online updater it utilizes for iTunes and the QuickTime video player.

With the release of Safari 3.1 on Tuesday, Apple started giving Windows users the option of downloading Safari via the Apple Software Update pop-up.

"Safari for Windows is the fastest and easiest-to-use web browser for the PC. It displays web pages faster than any other browser and is filled with innovative features -- all delivered in an efficient and elegant user interface," states Apple's message in the pop-up screen.

The move is a more aggressive play by Apple to snatch browser market share from Microsoft.

In February, Microsoft's Internet Explorer had a 74.9 percent share of the browser market in terms of usage, while Firefox had 17.3 percent, and Safari had 5.7 percent, according to figures from Net Applications, which measures Web traffic and market share.

Care for some Safari with your iTunes? Apple

Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet notes that when Apple CEO Steve Jobs first unveiled Safari for Windows last June, he said that the main way Apple planned to get Safari on Windows is through its Software Update program.

"Jobs said that Apple plans to use iTunes as a distribution vehicle for Safari for Windows. He noted that there are a million downloads of iTunes a day, with 500 million of those going to Windows machines."