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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Applications > Why/how has Google Chrome surpassed Safari already?

Why/how has Google Chrome surpassed Safari already?
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besson3c
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Jan 2, 2010, 04:39 PM
 
My perceptions of the computing world are pretty skewed since I all but ignore the whole Windows side.

What I don't get is why Google Chrome has surpassed Safari in market share when Safari has been available for Windows for ages? Is the fact that you can download Safari for Windows a sort of well-kept secret?

I've been seeing a lot of ads for Google Chrome in various places, perhaps its success is related to this marketing? Why didn't Apple market Safari for Windows? It has a lot of sex appeal as a company just like Google has, I'm sure it would have helped extend Apple's dominance via the halo effect?

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Chuckit
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Jan 2, 2010, 05:05 PM
 
Apple doesn't care that much about Safari on Windows. Apple cares more about WebKit, and that is shared between Safari and Chrome. So I think Apple is probably pleased as punch to see Chrome doing well.

As for why Chrome is doing well, it's a bit more advanced than Safari is. It has most of the front-facing features that Safari does, as well as the same backend rendering engine, but it has better performance and stability.
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besson3c  (op)
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Jan 2, 2010, 05:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
Apple doesn't care that much about Safari on Windows. Apple cares more about WebKit, and that is shared between Safari and Chrome. So I think Apple is probably pleased as punch to see Chrome doing well.

As for why Chrome is doing well, it's a bit more advanced than Safari is. It has most of the front-facing features that Safari does, as well as the same backend rendering engine, but it has better performance and stability.

I agree that Apple is cool with Chrome succeeding, but again, wouldn't it have been easy for Apple to have improved its own standing by marketing Safari a little more?

As far as the Chrome advantages over Safari, are they really all that relevant to its success? There have been better browsers than IE on all fronts for a while, it's always just been a case of providing the right carrot to get people to try something else. I'm sure that people are switching from IE to Chrome far more than they are switching from Firefox or Safari.
     
EndlessMac
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Jan 2, 2010, 05:59 PM
 
Well I think it has to do more with the Windows community itself and it's anti-Mac mentality. I believe this is also why iTunes never really got popular on Windows either except for people who are forced to use it for devices like iPods, etc.

Not everyone using Windows has a hatred for Macs but there is a large number of them. The people who don't really care are usually the ones that are still using IE and don't care which computer they use as long as it works. The people who use non-IE browsers have higher percentages of tech-savvy users and they are usually the Mac haters from what I have seen. Also Google has a pretty good reputation so more people are willing to try them because other browsers such as Opera hasn't really gained that much market share either. That's my theory as to why they are more willing to accept Chrome as opposed to Safari.

I do agree that IE should die. It makes it a pain for both Windows and Mac users because some sites are IE only and even within Windows users they don't all like IE either.
( Last edited by EndlessMac; Jan 2, 2010 at 06:06 PM. )
     
besson3c  (op)
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Jan 2, 2010, 06:07 PM
 
Interesting theory EndlessMac. Perhaps the Mac hating crowd accounts for the difference between Safari and Chrome on Windows, but it's hard for me to see how they account for a majority of all non-IE users. Most computer users I've encountered don't really give a shit about using a Mac vs. PC, they just use what is familiar to them and what seems to work for them.

Is iTunes really unpopular on Windows? I thought it was pretty big there, but shows what I know... I have pretty much no working Windows using radar of any sort
     
pcryan5
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Jan 2, 2010, 06:11 PM
 
"Mac hating Window users" ..... sometimes I think we take ourselves WAY too seriously.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jan 2, 2010, 06:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by EndlessMac View Post
Well I think it has to do more with the Windows community itself and it's anti-Mac mentality. I believe this is also why iTunes never really got popular on Windows either except for people who are forced to use it for devices like iPods, etc.
Actually, I believe you are completely incorrect - iTunes has a MASSIVE user base on Windows, and it did pretty much immediately when it became available - independently of iPod ownership.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Jan 2, 2010, 06:27 PM
 
Assuming that the vast majority of iTunes Music Store purchases are from Windows users, that represents a massive iTunes market share right there.
     
EndlessMac
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Jan 2, 2010, 06:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot
Actually, I believe you are completely incorrect - iTunes has a MASSIVE user base on Windows, and it did pretty much immediately when it became available - independently of iPod ownership.
I will admit that I could be wrong. My opinions to iTunes are based more on the general reactions to my Windows friends and other Windows users I talk to which obviously doesn't represent the full general public. They aren't big fans of iTunes and use other media players and buy their internet media downloads from other places too. Many of them have iTunes but continuing to use it as their main player is a different matter.

Originally Posted by pcryan5 View Post
"Mac hating Window users" ..... sometimes I think we take ourselves WAY too seriously.
If you say so. I also said it was only a theory. I never said I was right. It could just be me (most likely) but it seems the minute I or others mention Macs in person or on other non Mac forums I also frequent there is a general disdain reaction I see. Maybe I'm just unfortunate enough to be in the presence of these reactions more often than other but it's there. I do think it's a childish reaction and I don't really care what someone chooses to use as their OS.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Jan 2, 2010, 06:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
Apple doesn't care that much about Safari on Windows. Apple cares more about WebKit, and that is shared between Safari and Chrome. So I think Apple is probably pleased as punch to see Chrome doing well.

As for why Chrome is doing well, it's a bit more advanced than Safari is. It has most of the front-facing features that Safari does, as well as the same backend rendering engine, but it has better performance and stability.

What do you base the latter statement on, BTW, about Chrome being faster and more stable? Do you mean on Windows, overall, or both?

I remember there being some people complaining about various Windows/Safari issues, but that was a long time ago.
     
Eriamjh
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Jan 2, 2010, 06:59 PM
 
Lots of Mac users don't use Safari, and lots more PC users hate Apple.

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besson3c  (op)
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Jan 2, 2010, 07:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post
Lots of Mac users don't use Safari, and lots more PC users hate Apple.

I know this is off topic, but I love your Beaker movie! What an awesome bird
     
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Jan 2, 2010, 07:44 PM
 
I tried safari on my windows machine at work but it was so slow and unstable that I ditched it despite really wanting to use it due to my Apple-skewed inclinations. I'm sure that plenty of Windows users have either had, or heard of, similar experiences which could easily be damaging Safari's potential market share.
     
mduell
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Jan 2, 2010, 07:46 PM
 
What's the motivation to use Safari on Windows? It's a mediocre app at best with few addons. Chrome is a better app, even though it similarly lacks significant addons.
     
Thinine
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Jan 2, 2010, 08:47 PM
 
Well, Google's been advertising Chrome, where Apple hasn't been advertising Safari. That's probably the difference right there. That, plus the miniscule addition market share Chrome picks up by being available on Linux.
     
Big Mac
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Jan 2, 2010, 09:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
What's the motivation to use Safari on Windows? It's a mediocre app at best with few addons. Chrome is a better app, even though it similarly lacks significant addons.
That's my view. I use Safari on OS X largely because of its status as the Mac's native browser. There aren't that many good reasons to use Safari on Windows. It isn't really all that surprising, then, that a decent browser with some interesting features that is put out by a major vendor - Chrome - would attract a significant enough portion of Windows users so as to overtake Safari's share.

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besson3c  (op)
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Jan 2, 2010, 11:00 PM
 
Ahhh.... this makes sense then. I knew that there were problems with the Windows version of Safari, but I figured that those were just temporary wrinkles and that the app was now in complete parity with the Mac version performance-wise and otherwise, rather than just a sloppy port.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Jan 2, 2010, 11:02 PM
 
So, with Chrome out now, do you think that Apple will sort of let Safari Windows stall and/or languish even more than it is now?
     
Andy8
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Jan 3, 2010, 02:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
So, with Chrome out now, do you think that Apple will sort of let Safari Windows stall and/or languish even more than it is now?
Safari needs an injection of Snappiness™
     
tupsy0
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Jan 3, 2010, 02:28 AM
 
If you look at why most people still use IE when it's clearly the worst browser of the lot, it's because it's there. It's on the PC when they get it and probably don't even know of another option. Every body uses google now so when they are using google they get presented with this free option to try a differant browser, they like google, so hey why not? I think it's as simple as that. They probably don't even know about Safari unless they also have a Mac.
     
dedalus
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Jan 3, 2010, 05:54 AM
 
There’s this kid I’m in the process of switching over to our side, he hadn’t heard of Safari before I showed it to him. It’s not his primary browser yet because he’s become used to a bunch of Firefox addons, but we’re getting there. I don’t find it slow, at all, and features like Top Sites and Cover Flow really make a difference. What’s slowing his system (Vista Home Premium) down is all the poorly coded anti‑virus crapware and anonymiser garbage running in the background. He’s not going to install Chrome because he doesn’t trust Google. Quite right, too.
     
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Jan 3, 2010, 08:16 AM
 
There are very few reasons to pick Safari on Windows over anything except IE, and one major thing I know is keeping many away: The text rendering. I know they were working in a way to make it render text using the Windows built-in features, but until that is solved, I doubt that they will get many converts.
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Jan 3, 2010, 09:16 AM
 
That is solved already. In fact Windows text rendering is the default in Safari now.
     
Oisín
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Jan 3, 2010, 09:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by tupsy0 View Post
If you look at why most people still use IE when it's clearly the worst browser of the lot, it's because it's there. It's on the PC when they get it and probably don't even know of another option. Every body uses google now so when they are using google they get presented with this free option to try a differant browser, they like google, so hey why not? I think it's as simple as that. They probably don't even know about Safari unless they also have a Mac.
This.

Where does the average Windows user hear about Safari? Basically nowhere, except if they visit apple.com.

Where does the average Windows user hear about Chrome? Every time they go to google.com, or see a video on YouTube, or use Gmail … and probably a dozen other sites where people go all the time.


And there’s the part about Safari on Windows being a buggy, clunky, sloppy port, while Chrome’s a sleek, fast, and stable browser too, of course.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jan 3, 2010, 09:42 AM
 
Actually, Safari is surreptitiously installed along with each iTunes update (or at least it was, not sure if Apple changed that), which means it's probably present on a majority of home users' Windows machines.
     
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Jan 3, 2010, 11:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by TETENAL View Post
That is solved already. In fact Windows text rendering is the default in Safari now.
And I didn't know that. I'm pretty sure that anyone who wanted to try it did so before that change, because there hasn't been any big announcements about it since.

Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot
Actually, Safari is surreptitiously installed along with each iTunes update (or at least it was, not sure if Apple changed that), which means it's probably present on a majority of home users' Windows machines.
They changed it so that it was clearer that you were installing a new application (they moved it to a separate section in Software Update) and eventually removed the default checkmark in the box as well about a year ago.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Jan 3, 2010, 12:37 PM
 
I still think that Apple might have shot themselves in the foot a little bit by not making Safari a better quality port, and not advertising it just a little bit. It would have been a great opportunity to bring some people to the Mac and win some converts. The rise of Chrome now suggests to me that people have been willing to try a new browser all along, especially a free one from a big name company such as Apple or Google.
     
pcryan5
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Jan 3, 2010, 01:36 PM
 
FWIW - Our IT team supports hospitals. Our experience is Mac users (primarily doctors) request Safari on our Window boxes to maintain some consistency between their platforms. I have not looked at Safari on Windows but suspect the sync option via .me may also be a factor?
     
imitchellg5
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Jan 3, 2010, 01:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Actually, Safari is surreptitiously installed along with each iTunes update (or at least it was, not sure if Apple changed that), which means it's probably present on a majority of home users' Windows machines.
Yes, it still is by default (it's easy to uncheck it though).
     
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Jan 3, 2010, 01:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by EndlessMac View Post
Well I think it has to do more with the Windows community itself and it's anti-Mac mentality.
Being in the Windows community as much as I'm in the Mac community, I see *much* more anti-Windows mentality than anti-Mac mentality. Almost every Mac user I know defines themselves as not-a-Windows-user while most of the Windows users I know barely care about Macs one-way-or-the-other or would buy one if they could afford one.
     
Wiskedjak
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Jan 3, 2010, 01:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by EndlessMac View Post
I will admit that I could be wrong. My opinions to iTunes are based more on the general reactions to my Windows friends and other Windows users I talk to which obviously doesn't represent the full general public. They aren't big fans of iTunes and use other media players and buy their internet media downloads from other places too. Many of them have iTunes but continuing to use it as their main player is a different matter.
I run both a Mac and a Windows pc in my house. The Windows box acts as my media server and is running iTunes. Having said that, if I didn't have an iPod and an AppleTV, I wouldn't choose to use iTunes. It's a bloated app that seems to acquire as many bugs as are fixed with every update.

I also don't touch Safari on my Mac. Firefox, then Chrome.
     
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Jan 3, 2010, 02:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Actually, Safari is surreptitiously installed along with each iTunes update (or at least it was, not sure if Apple changed that), which means it's probably present on a majority of home users' Windows machines.
Which generated some anti-Safari/Apple sentiment.
     
mduell
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Jan 3, 2010, 05:49 PM
 
Another issue is perception/hype:
Safari is yet another browser for Windows that has no killer features.
Chrome has the potential to be the ZOMG FUTURE OF THE INTERNET.

Even the decent features that Safari has, like the top sites display in a new window, lagged behind Chrome's release of the same.
     
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Jan 3, 2010, 07:52 PM
 
I use Safari on my Windows box at work primarily because of the font smoothing. Also, I have a MobileMe account, so the fact that my bookmarks are in sync is an extra. But I would imagine that the majority of people who use Safari on Windows are like me: folks who use OS X elsewhere and Windows when they have to. And especially ones who have persnickety preferences in text antialiasing.
     
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Jan 4, 2010, 11:00 AM
 
My initial understanding as to why Safari was released for Windows was the iPhone. This was before Apple released the SDK, back when "web apps" were the future. This gave developers on Windows a chance to make sure their web app looked/worked right on the iPhone.

At least, that's what I thought when it was released.
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TheoCryst
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Jan 7, 2010, 03:03 PM
 
From what I can tell, a lot of people tried out Safari 3 when it first came to Windows. Turns out they hated having Apple's UI and font rendering shoved down their throats, and simply walked away. A lot of people just don't know that the new Safari fits in with Windows, and haven't had a good enough reason to look a second time.

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Big Mac
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Jan 7, 2010, 03:35 PM
 
Apple really needs to be creative and bring some fundamental improvements to the browsing experience if it wants Windows users to notice Safari. Otherwise, why use a less compatible alternative to IE when Firefox is the defacto IE alternative?

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dedalus
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Jan 7, 2010, 04:45 PM
 
I do not think Apple should push Safari for Windows. They’re already doing a great job with iTunes, iPod and iPhone, making people view Apple as the de facto provider of their multimedial experience.

Apple shouldn’t improve the Windows ports. If everybody uses iPods and iPhones and they love them and the desktop apps on Windows suck, that’s a great motivator for switching. If the Windows versions were just as good, why should they bother?
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jan 7, 2010, 05:01 PM
 
Because the Mac is anything BUT about individual pieces of software that stand out from the rest of the system.

It's all about a unified and integrated user experience.

If people use iTunes and Safari (if it worked right) and an iPod and an iPhone, they *will* get the idea that maybe on an Apple machine, the whole widget will work that way - which it does, barring non-standard crap like Photoshop Elements and Firefox (good browser; I'm talking about OS X integration and seamless user experience).
     
besson3c  (op)
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Jan 7, 2010, 05:04 PM
 
Why would people be inclined to shell out bucks for a Mac in order to use apps that they have had bad experiences with based on the premise that these apps might work better on the Mac? Few people would understand that Apple is at a disadvantage writing software for Windows, they would just think that Apple is not very good at writing functional software.

I would argue the exact opposite of what you just wrote: good Windows ports will encourage people to the Mac, not vice versa. The trick is just porting some particular apps, giving users something else to lust after. I would never encourage Apple to port iLife or iWork, for instance.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jan 7, 2010, 05:51 PM
 
Exactly.
     
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Jan 7, 2010, 06:17 PM
 
I do have to admit that newer versions of Safari for WIndows are better, but in boot camp, I used Firefox.
     
dedalus
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Jan 7, 2010, 06:43 PM
 
Don’t get me wrong. I know what you’re saying, and it does make sense.

Except for the fact that the typical Windows user, in my experience, is anything but technologically savvy. All he or she wants is for the system not to screw them up all the time. If Apple gave them a perfectly working Safari version, they would just accept it as part of their Windows experience.

Take these adverts Microsoft have been running (in the UK, anyway, don’t know about elsewhere): Microsoft (poorly) rip off something that Apple did years ago, then they run ads with toddlers, pensioners and other ‘normal’ people going on about how they ‘told’ Microsoft how to design Windows 7.

They also run adverts talking about ‘taking all your "Windows stuff" with you.’ on Windows Mobile, including everything fom MySpace to Twitter to YouTube, things that have nothing whatsoever to do with MS. The most recent thing I’ve seen was about a Sony touch‑screen. Microsoft have the gall to present it as another one of these ‘home user told them how to do it’ things. They don’t even give Sony any credit.

The thing is, the ‘average’ end customer does not know, and does not care about these things. For them, Windows is the computer, Google is the browser and the internet, MSN is the only way to communicate, and everything else is some exotic form of magic that doesn’t apply to them.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jan 7, 2010, 07:28 PM
 
The "average" end customer is starting to hear from other average consumers, and the average end customer has indeed started to care.

The bad rap Vista got caused an awful lot of people to start considering options for the first time in their computing life.

Add iPod touch and iPhone, and the numbers show that fully 50% of Apple's computer customers are "average" end consumers who now know and DO care and just bought their first Mac because their friend got one last summer and won't stop raving about it.
     
   
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