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.