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Inside Safari 3.0 for Windows (beta)
Apple ports its Safari browser over to the Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems, adding a few new features.
CNET Reviews staff
The public beta offers three download choices: Safari plus Quicktime for Windows XP and Vista; Safari for Windows XP and Vista; and Safari for Mac OS 10.4.9 or later. We downloaded the first option and had Safari up and running within minutes.
One choice during setup will be unfamiliar to most Windows users. On a Mac, Apple's Bonjour protocol finds the local IP address of all devices, such as your network printer. Bonjour works the same on a Windows machine.
Safari provides built-in newsfeeds from Google, CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, BBC, NPR, and CNET News.com, all preinstalled on the toolbar. The plastic look and feel of Safari is distinctively Apple. If you use iTunes, the font and colors of the Safari bookmarks will be familiar.
Safari 3.0 comes with pages premarked for Apple, Amazon, eBay, and Yahoo along the toolbar. Within the bookmarks section, Apple includes a hundred more sites, such as National Geographic, Accuweather.com, and TV Guide, all grouped by category. Without prompting, Safari sucked in all our bookmarks from IE and Firefox.
One unique feature within Safari 3.0 for Windows is the ability to break out any tab and free it as its own window. That way, you can stream content in a smaller window while continuing to surf in the main Safari window.
Like most browsers, Safari will accumulate a lot of junk pages, requiring you to clean the cache from time to time. Here, Apple makes the task within Safari a question that might confuse some people. You should empty the cache from time to time.
Another interesting feature unique to Safari is Private Browsing, where sites are not recorded in the history file. This ensures privacy, but here again, Apple turns it into a question that might confuse those who most need to use it.
The options in Safari are pretty straightforward. In the end, Safari 3.0 beta is a mixed bag. There are some good features, but current Firefox and IE users likely will be frustrated by the lack of add-ons and other user interface concerns. And, less than 24 hours after its public release, three security researchers have found at least eight significant flaws within the Safari for Windows browser.