Saturday, September 23, 2006

Safari must die.

I love Safari. I love the elegance, the performance, the efficiency, the security, stability and features of Safari. I love the Cocoa services and the beautiful UI and the excellent printing. It's a great product from a great team.

Safari must die.

I've known that for months, years maybe. Still, I held out hope. Hope died when I created a Gmail account for my wife last night. There's a button to click to test username availability; in Firefox it updates the page, in Safari it does nothing. I became so frustrated by the process I quit and did it using Firefox.

Safari was the right choice in its time. Back in the day was no way Apple could rely on IE, and Phoenix (later Firefox) was either unborn or unproven. Apple was right to start work on their own browser. Then came Google, and Ajax and, painfully, slowly, widespread support of Firefox as well as IE.

Now Safari is wrong. Being smaller, faster, better, more standards compliant is not enough. The best man doesn't always win the race. Safari cannot contend against Google, Yahoo, and every up and coming Web 2.0 solution. Most of all, Safari cannot defeat Google.

Gates, in his robber-baron heyday, had one great gift even I admired. He would shoot the horse he'd ridden when it faltered. He shot OS/2 (in the back), he shot pre-web MSN, he shot a lot of things. When he stopped shooting Microsoft went into decline.

Jobs shot the Newton (in the forehead). He can shoot Safari.

Maybe keep Webkit for Apple products, but use Firefox's Gecko engine and identify to websites as Mozilla/Firefox. We've got Camino and soon Firefox/Cocoa; Apple should work to make Apple's branded browser the best Firefox there is. Make it beautiful, make the printing work, make it Rendezvous and Keychain and spotlight and Cocoa and Webkit and Photocasting and Address Book friendly. Above all, make it Firefox/Mac -- even if you still call it "Safari".

Death to Safari. Long live Safari/F.

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