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Safari Beta Takeup Tops Firefox, IE and Chrome 342

nk497 writes "The release of the beta for the next version of Apple's Safari browser last week helped drive Apple's market share above ten per cent. The Safari beta has gained users at a rate of about 0.5 per cent a day since its release, topping one per cent by day four. For comparison, Microsoft's beta of IE took six months to hit one percent, Chrome needed almost a month, and Firefox 3 took a week."
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Safari Beta Takeup Tops Firefox, IE and Chrome

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  • by argent ( 18001 ) <peter@slashdot . ... t a r o nga.com> on Monday March 02, 2009 @09:46AM (#27039275) Homepage Journal

    Until they fix the title-bar abuse, I'm sticking with Safari 3.

    • Yes. I HATE the new look of Safari (Beta 4). It's horrid! I've gone back to beta 3.2.

    • by bondsbw ( 888959 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @09:55AM (#27039351)
      This should help. [lifehacker.com.au]
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      Until they fix the title-bar abuse, I'm sticking with Safari 3.

      I prefer the new title bar. It saves me a little bit of vertical space without losing any utility. I call that a win. I suppose they could add a preference for the "old way" for curmudgeons that don't like change.

      • by e4g4 ( 533831 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @10:37AM (#27039741)
        I agree - the new title bar takes a little getting used to, but it recovers a fairly significant amount of dead space (all that blank space to the left and right of the selected tab's title, making it certainly worth a little bit of (initial) discomfort. As to the preference for the old way, it's easy:

        sudo defaults write com.apple.Safari DebugSafari4TabBarIsOnTop -bool FALSE

        Okay, so it's not a checkbox, but meh - you only need to do it once.
      • Imagine you were seeing a computer GUI for the first time. And were comparing two programs one of which had tabs like Safari 3 and one of which had tabs like Safari 4. Which would you prefer?

        • Safari 4 devotes half the screen area to window dragging + tabs.
        • It's easier to drag tabs around in Safari 3
        • Because Safari 4's tabs fill the width of a window: longer titles
        • It's easy to pop a tab off into it's own window in Safari 4
        • It makes logical sense that the URL field is part of the web page, thus below the tab


        • The URL field is not part of the web page, neither is anything else in the toolbar and bookmarks bar. It makes no sense at all to have static content shared by all tabs inside the tab.

          It's just an ugly hack.

    • bash$ defaults write com.apple.Safari DebugSafari4TabBarIsOnTop -bool FALSE

  • I have been using Safarai for Windows 3.2 for a while (use it for testing compatability with web pages I build). I downloaded the Beta 4 and ran it through the same web pages I normally do for testing compatability and found Beta 4 ran slower than the Beta 3.2. So I uninstalled Beta4 and went back to Beta 3.2.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Canazza ( 1428553 )

      That's a disturbing moniker...
      "Safari for Windows 3.2"
      you aren't Chinese by any chance? If you are we'll have to tell your masters you've been hacking the great Firewall...

      fyi [wikipedia.org]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 02, 2009 @09:48AM (#27039295)

    Safari is broken, it can't even load hotmail

  • by Alsee ( 515537 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @09:51AM (#27039321) Homepage

    about 0.5 per cent a day... topping one per cent by day four


    • by Threni ( 635302 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @09:54AM (#27039341)

      "There are now at least 85,000 Elvis's around the world, compared to only 170 in 1977 when Elvis died. At this rate of growth, experts predict that by 2019 Elvis impersonators will make up a third of the world population." - The Naked Scientists 3rd December, 2000.

    • by quenda ( 644621 )
      On the bright side: By day 200, they will need to provide a Linux version.
    • You're looking at it wrong. That's 0.5 increase of the previous day!

      Day 1: 5m downloads! Fanboi day.
      Day 2: 25000 downloads: Windows users who have heard of Apple, but don't want to shell out x000 for a pretty UI.
      Day 3: 125 downloads: Linux users with WINE give it a go.
      Day 4: 0.6 downloads: Someone posts a link in /. pretending it's Goatse. A noob clicks it by mistake.
      • i just tried Safari 3 & 4 with wine-1.0.1 in Slackware-12.2 Safari-3 would run but terribly buggy, Safari-4 would install but not run at all, so all you Linux users thinking of running Safari with wine dont bother...
        • ... all you Linux users thinking of running Safari with wine...

          [cricket sounds]

          Was anyone really thinking of running something like their Web browser in WINE? I mean, I'll use it to run the odd bit of Windows software, but only if there aren't any other options. I guess I can see it for smoke testing browser compatibility, but since WINE is a big question mark in the middle there, it makes more sense in my mind to go another route, like VMs or a dedicated, remote machine.

    • by k.a.f. ( 168896 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @10:32AM (#27039675)

      about 0.5 per cent a day... topping one per cent by day four

      So, they started out with -1% market share?

      • How cool would be to have -100% market share?

        On a more serious note is there a difference between -2% and -100% market share?

    • by h2oliu ( 38090 )


      And is it me, or was the total > 100 %

      68.18% IE
      21.96% Mozialla
      10.91% Safari
        1.16% Opera

      Just curious.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      Who cares? This whole article is just a "pat yourself on the back" for Apple fans to justify to themselves why they were so smart to buy a $4000 computer that could have been bought for $1000 if they acquired a generic brand instead. I know. I'm a recovering Appleholic myself. Been there; done that. The only fact that matters is - How many people are using Safari today?



      • A recovering Appleholic from 1997? Where on earth is this $4,000 to $1,000 comparison coming from? Look, I own a Mac, but I will take large dumps on Apple very often because most of the praise is undeserved. This crap, though, drives me absolutely insane. I tried really hard for two years to get a laptop with the same quality and weight as my Apple laptop for even close to the same money, and after two years of screwing around, bought another Apple.

        The last time it was 4:1 was in the late 90s, and no one wa

  • Not Meaningful (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nemyst ( 1383049 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @09:52AM (#27039335) Homepage
    I don't think that kind of thing is actually meaningful at all. Sure, they are gaining more people to try out their beta. The issue is with whether they'll be able to keep them.

    Look at Google Chrome; the browser's first few weeks were all rosy as people flocked to the browser. After a few months, though, things got back to "normal" and users went back to their usual browser after the hype machine had died down and the novelty wore off. If they can get that percentage and KEEP it, then we can say they've achieved something.
  • Why? Trust. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lord Grey ( 463613 ) * on Monday March 02, 2009 @09:54AM (#27039345)
    I think the reason behind this is due to trust. Specifically, trust in the "it just works" history that Apple currently enjoys. Mac users are used to that, expect it, and believe that something like a new Safari will actually work and may even perform as advertised. They're willing to give it a try at an early stage. I did: I'm typing this reply now in the Safari beta. And hey, it does Just Work, at least so far.

    Now, I'm not saying that Apple always deserves that level of trust. They've made mistakes in the past, some of them real doozies. But in general, the average Mac user has a fairly high regard for Apple products. More so than Microsoft users for Windows products, certainly.
    • ...but up through Safari version 3 Apple has "stepped in it" when it comes to the browser UI and SSL security. It stinks.

      There is no highlighting of the domain name or identity of the https website, there are no extended validation cues, and the lock icon is shown in the corner of the window titlebar far away from the website address.

      Just as bad is having no status bar as the default, so people are less likely to notice that a URL-looking link doesn't go to the same place as shown on the page. This also tra

  • No source (Score:4, Informative)

    by p_quarles ( 1094847 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @09:58AM (#27039375)
    The central claim of the summary is completely unsourced. If you click on the link in the article that purports to backup the claim of a 10% market share (which sounds outlandish to me, but not impossible), you get a pretty run of the mill domain name parking page. So, there's no way of examining the claim or questioning the methods. This doesn't belong on the front page.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by p_quarles ( 1094847 )
      My apologies. After looking more closely, it's not a parking site. But there's no link to the actual data, just the main page of the site that supposedly collected the statistics.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by chdig ( 1050302 )
      I'm having a hard time understanding where the "10%" figure comes from too. The article links to a stats page [hitslink.com] which lists the stats for IE, Chrome and Firefox at 68.17, 1.16, 21.96 respectively (as reported in TFA).

      But, for Safari, the article says 10.91%, but the stats page says 7.42% -- that's a big difference!

      Can anybody find where this 10% figure comes from (my personal guess is outta thin air)
      • by Xest ( 935314 )

        10% is indeed BS.

        Even the most Apple biased browser stats I've looked through top it out at 8.3%, the more objective sites put it at around 4%. The thing is, even most Mac users I know use Firefox rather than Safari.

        I don't even think Apple has 10% of computer market share which makes the claim even more unlikely unless there is some specific reason Mac users are more likely to be internet users than Linux or Windows users are. See here:

        http://www.slashgear.com/apple-os-x-market-share-drops-in-feb-as-vista- [slashgear.com]

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by oDDmON oUT ( 231200 )

          "I don't even think Apple has 10% of computer market share which makes the claim even more unlikely unless there is some specific reason Mac users are more likely to be internet users than Linux or Windows users are. See here:


          This is almost a given in a tight economy.

          Apple does not price it's products "affordably" (read - cheap), so when someone chooses a new computer based on the lowest possible price point they are g

    • The central claim of the summary is completely unsourced.

      Which would make it perfect for slashdot. You must be new here.

  • by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @10:07AM (#27039441)

    ...the KDE folks would "dump" KHTML for Webkit. I just mean "default to Webkit in Konqueror." Such a move would raise Konqueror's profile which cannot be a bad thing.

    Right now, Konqueror is a non issue when it comes to browser statistics on the internet. In some statistics, it is lumped like other browsers into the "other" category like here [sirsidynix.com]. And over here [hitslink.com], Konqueror is missing all together! Sad indeed.

    While I say this, I know egos are high in the Open Source world, so what I am suggesting has little chance of being adopted.

    Now, before I get modded a troll, I would like to know whether what I am suggesting is a very bad thing.

    • by cabjf ( 710106 )
      I don't see how it could be bad. While competition is good, too much competition, from an open source perspective especially, dilutes the effectiveness. How many different groups do we need reinventing the wheel?
  • Net Applications, the site that ITPro is using as the source of its numbers, lists Safari's market share as 7.42% - a decrease from last month, when it was at 7.7%. Am I missing something, or is ITPro just doing a shoddy job at citing its source?
    • Just FYi, the site linked to in the article [hitslink.com] only shows Worldwide stats on it's free overview page. So that 7.42% is a worldwide statistic. Which considering the costs associated with a Mac is pretty impressive.

      You have to pay for a subscription to that site to see their US and other breakdown stats.

  • These "rates of change" mean nothing when you have a very small share. If I produce my chrisbrows browser and test it myself, the day I give it to a friend I have achieved a growth rate of 100% per day, beating Safari, Opera, Firefox and the lot.
  • I used Safari 4 beta for a while since it was faster than Firefox, but then it crashed and forgot all my open tabs. I'm back to Firefox now (actually Shiretoko since Firefox 3.1 Beta 2 had a bookmark export bug that wouldn't let me switch to Safari).
    • I used Safari 4 beta for a while since it was faster than Firefox, but then it crashed and forgot all my open tabs.

      On what OS? It has been rock stable for me so far on OS X. I haven't tried it on Windows (and probably won't) but I'm curious about the stability.

  • And for those who want teh snappy without tabs-on-top and other changes, go here [swedishcampground.com] to learn how to revert back to the old ways. I hope these still work once it's out of beta! I like my title bar on the top and a progress meter that actually shows progress, thankyouverymuch.

  • Safari's share is more like 7.5%. And it's lower than that on most technology oriented sites.

  • In the press releases where they claim to be the fastest, bestest browser, they're comparing the beta release of Safari 4 to the shipping release of Firefox 3.0 instead of the beta release of Firefox 3.1 which is more accurate. This is typical of most of Apple's marketing.

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