If you haven’t heard yet, Apple (Jobs) just announced that Safari will be available to Windows users. This is important for 2 main reasons.
First of all, web developers will be able to test their applications in Safari now, which means they can assure a consistent design across browsers. People won’t have to have a mac to test how their sites look in one.
Second reason is related to the first one. Safari is the browser for the iPhone, which means that Steve Jobs has opened a way for developers to reach it. Not only Apple developers, but any web developer, and they can test their applications in Windows or Mac, they won’t need to buy an iPhone for development purposes.
There are a few “bad” things to take in consideration. Since Safari is now available in any platform, it will get the atttention of hackers, malware, spyware, etc. It is a start point for Mac holes to be exploited. This is also re-ignite the old “IE is unsafe just because it has more users” discussion. Let’s not forget Safari is in the iPhone too, why can’t it be a target? A omnipresent web browser sounds like a nice juice pray for hackers.
Now, on a user level, I don’t think Safari will become a leader, I don’t think it will take a lot of market share from IE o FF. I think it will remain a browser to enable developers to access several platforms, unless you are a mac fanboy trapped in a windows shell.
Ok, this is after me recovering from the shock of watching Microsoft Surface. It is totally impressive, but I think most people will be judging it from the wrong point of view (wow it looks so nice).
It isn’t just a neat product, I personally think it is the next paradigm shift. Computers, GUI, Post PC devices (is it?) and Surface. This “natural form factor” that keeps you from realizing you are dealing with a computer just blows me away (as Steve Jobs would say) . I definately think is something my grandpa could’ve used.
This is a “6 degrees” kind of thing, but it’s actually 4. I don’t know if anyone thinks this way of relating things is ok, but here’s what I think.
With Microsoft releasing Silverlight preview, and it being dubbed the “Flash Killer”, there are a lot of questions arising about wether Microsoft can pull this one off or not. It obviously depends on the client adoption for the technology. Flash is currently installed in [put your favorite estimate here, it is still a lot] PCs. Silverlight has to beat that. But there are so many sites working with Flash already, and a huge developer base too.
I think Microsoft has a good chance to take Flash’s place, first because they have a history fo building a developer base. Some might disagree but they have done it before with .Net.
Another reason is that Microsoft is a lot more mature as a software development company than Adobe is. In my personal opinion their development tools are far more efficient.
But now there’s another twist to take in consideration, and that’s why I think this is sort of a “4 degrees to the demise of Flash” thing (ok, might be a little exagerated but still). YouTube is encoding it’s videos for the AppleTV in H.264 instead of FLV. Which means a change like that could be done in favor of Silverlight too, or a Silverlight version of YouTube. It doesn’t seem so hard to me that they can switch to Silverlight completely with some *minor* (compared to what I thought before) changes. Maybe YouTube won’t (I don’t really think Google would support Microsoft like that) but other non Google sites could.
Now you also have to take in consideration the fact that Flash comes with XP or SP2 and that Microsoft can install Silverlight in millions if PCs with just a simple update via Windows Update. Shazam!
Like I said, Microsoft has a very good chance. I want to hear counterpoints!