According to Ars Technica, Apple's Safari Web browser—both the iPhone mobile version and the desktop version for Mac and Windows—has been slowly gaining marketshare in the browser wars. Ars takes this as a tribute to the slow success of the Mac in general. But Safari's growth probably comes as a surprise to most Mac users, those who downloaded Firefox because Safari, for most purposes, is a crappy browser.
Firefox has been growing too. On personal computers, Internet Explorer claims 65.5% of users, though this is dropping. Firefox has 22.5% of users. Safari is inching up to 8.5%. Chart below courtesy of Ars.
Maybe Safari is more stable on Windows; I use Chrome on my PC (1.8% marketshare). But for some reason unacknowledged by Apple, the most recent versions of Safari (3.X and 4 Beta) tend to crash on the Mac. A lot. Check out Apple's Safari support forum, and you'll see what I mean; the top threads include "Safari unexpectedly quit," "Safari crashing!!," "Safari hanging," and the ever-pitiful "Please, Please help! Safari keeps crashing."
Perhaps that's why plug-in development for Safari has been so sluggish compared with Firefox. On Firefox, I can set up panes with Google Maps or Flickr; I can keep Twitter in the bottom right corner of each window; I can customize the look and feel and even add Greasemonkey scripts to sites I use frequently. Safari's star plug-ins are Adobe Flash and, well, a bunch of pop-up blockers. There is GreaseKit, which takes the place of Greasemonkey, but it isn't quite as easy to install as you can see here. Overall, the list of Safari plugins has grown, but it has yet to rival Firefox. Check out this sad list of 20 excellent Safari plug-ins published last month, and you'll see what I mean.
Since Safari for the iPhone is rock-solid, it's a wonder that Apple hasn't woken up and ported it back to the desktop.
[Via Ars Technica]