Friday, June 15, 2007

Why Safari on Windows? Here's Why.

Om Malik asks, 'why Safari on Windows?'

Om notes that alternative browsers don't thrive on the Windows platform, and that releasing software (even a free browser) to the wider Windows platform opens Apple up to the slings and arrows of outrageous (and unfriendly) pundits.

Om speculates that Apple's motives center around switchers- the more Apple interfaces you can acclimate Windows users to prior to their switch, the easier the transition becomes.

I think there's a more subtle, longer term motive to this plan, and it can be summed up in one Ballmeresque sentence: "Developers, developers, DEVELOPERS!"

Here's my reasoning:

1) The iPhone runs Safari.

2) The only way to write 'apps' for the iPhone is to create Safari-compatible widgets.

3) Making Safari available to Windows users makes it easier for Windows developers to create iPhone widgets, widening the pool of potential iPhone developers by a factor of 10.

Safari on Windows, and all the costs and PR headaches that go along with it, are a component of Apple's master plan to democratize mobile application development and create a platform owned by device makers (like Apple) and less dependent on carrier control.

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