There’s over 100-million iPod users, and the vast majority are Windows users. Apple’s trojan horse for Windows users is iTunes and QuickTime.
What’s next? Safari for Windows. It’s another time bomb that makes Apple plenty of money.
Safari was probably the biggest good surprise from Apple, and one of the bigger disappointments. The disappointment comes from the new opportunity, a gift from Apple, to use Safari’s “engine” to create so-called Web 2.0 applications for Safari on the iPhone.
Those applications can be developed on the Mac, and even run on Safari on the Mac. With a version of Safari for Windows XP and Vista, those same “applications” can be used on the much larger Windows user base, perhaps 15 to 18 times larger than the Mac.
What’s the disappointment part? Those applications are not much more than Dashboard Widgets. There’s not much money in Dashboard Widgets. When was the last time you paid a Mac developer for a Widget?
As with other Mac developers who was disappointed with the iPhone-application-on-Safari “opportunity” we tried to look deeper into the situation to see if Apple had something good coming down the road.
They do have something good in this Safari deal. But it’s mostlly good for Apple.
Why put Safari on Windows? Yes, it’s fast, it looks like Safari on the Mac, and Windows users have another good choice. But why put Safari on Windows?
Hmmm. Could it be that Safari, a Cocoa application, could be the first step toward a developer’s environment like the old NeXT OPENSTEP? That kind of situation would make it easy for developers to create an application using the Mac and Apple’s tools, and then click, click, click, have the application running on Windows, too.
Again, why? Doesn’t Apple want developers working on applications just for Apple’s platforms—the Mac, iPhone, the next great thing? Yes.
The buzz heading up and down the halls at WWDC is that Safari is a trojan horse with multiple payloads. The first is money—for Apple. Guess what? Safari makes money.
Yes, Safari is a free download, but don’t forget that Google search field in the top. When you enter keywords that get searched on Google, Apple gets a cut of the resulting ad revenue from the search results.
It’s big money. We’ve heard that Safari revenue is over $2-million a month. Safari is free, but somebody is paying the freight. OK, why Safari on Windows?
Let’s say that Safari gains a 10-percent market share within a couple of years. Is that possible? Firefox has been around for years, and has only 15-percent of the browser market.
Apple could include Safari with iTunes and QuickTime, both of which are free downloads.
That’s hundreds of millions of download potential for Safari, piggybacking on the iTunes, iPod waves (to mix a few metaphors). 10-percent market share is a reasonable target for Safari on Windows.
That means another $4-million a month in search revenue from Google and Yahoo, up to $70-million in annual revenue. That’s not chump change. It doesn’t cost Apple anywhere near that to port Safari to Windows.
Apple’s sour tasting icing on the cake is to woo Mac developers, even some Windows developers, to create cool looking utilitarian applications that run on Safari only—Mac, Windows, and iPhone.
Amazing. Apple’s in it for the money. Who would have thought that?
Other than the sour taste of the above desserts from Apple, Safari 3.0 looks good. It’s not loaded with a list of new features, though. The WebKit is updated beyond Safari 2.x, but the same as in OmniWeb, which I love using on my MacBook Pro.
I love those draggable tabs. That’s long overdue, as is the absence of some kind of session memory so when Safari closes down or crashes, you can open again to the same pages. Even Camino has that.
Camino also has resizeable text areas within a web page, and Safari 3.0 gives you the same. How many times have you tried to squeeze plenty of text into a field that just wasn’t big enough? No more.
The WebClips that were demonstrated for Safari for OS X Leopard are absent in the beta for Tiger users.