Apple launches browser for PCs
Free program marks another attempt by firm to draw converts
"Safari is another Trojan horse that introduces an innovation of Apple to the Windows community and entices them to the Mac platform," said Tim Bajarin, an industry analyst at Creative Strategies, a technology consultancy.
The free program is the latest move by Apple to expand its reach beyond its Macintosh computers and attract new converts to its products. The upcoming iPhone seeks to be another draw.
In fact, Apple said yesterday it would run a full version of Safari on the iPhone, thus allowing developers to create Web-based applications for the hybrid smartphone-iPod. That new opportunity for third-party applications on the iPhone veered a bit from Apple's earlier stance, when it said it wouldn't support programs from outside developers due to security concerns.
Apple's fortunes have surged in recent years as it has opened up its products to non-Mac users. Previously, Apple made its iPod media player and iTunes Store compatible with Windows, introducing Apple's touch to millions of Microsoft Windows users.
The strategy is apparently paying off. Mac sales have grown significantly over the past two years, pushing its slice of the PC market in the United States from 3.5 percent in 2004 to 4.9 percent in 2006, according to IDC, a market research firm.
About half of the Macs sold today in Apple's retail stores are to people new to the Mac platform.
Apple chief Steve Jobs' disclosure yesterday of Safari on the iPhone essentially guarantees developers that Web-based applications they build for Safari would also be accessible and compatible with the highly anticipated mobile gadget.