I've switched my default browser

Posted on 3/25/2008 @ 10:23 PM in #Non Techie by | Feedback | 2997 views

Uhmm .. okay .. I already love my iPhone. Now, I'm going to put in one more Apple praising post in, and I still reserve one more before I officially turn into a Mac fanboy.

But, I simply love the new Safari 3.1 browser they put out.


  • It is FAST. I mean, heckuva fast. Seriously, try it out yourself .. it is a good 3-4 times faster than IE or F.Fox. Try it on a heavy duty website .. something that uses a lot of javascript and ajax .. say maps.google.com.
  • It's search (CTRL_F) capability - the screenshot speaks for itself.
  • It's amazing web inspector -

  • It's queued downloads feature.
  • Click and configure user agent (great for debugging)
  • Private browsing
  • CTRL_SHIFT_A -----> Autofill form (Yeah seriously!)
  • In built spell checker
  • Page snapbacks - CTRL_ALT_K, P and S .. great for search results.
  • Merge all windows - Turn windows into tabs.
  • CTRL_ALT_A ----> Activity .. hmm what exactly is this website downloading in the background? :)

Overall, I am quite impressed by Safari 3.1. So much that I've switched my default browser in .. like .. forever. I never switched to F.Fox .. just didn't see the point, and didn't have the urge to be different .. but .. Safari, is indeed quite impressive.

Sound off but keep it civil:

Older comments..

On 3/26/2008 9:34:04 AM Becky Isserman said ..
Safari 3.1 beats FireFox 2, but not FireFox 3 Beta 4...Some people say FireFox 3 beats Safari 3.1...They come pretty close. I like FireFox, because it's lightweight and easy to use and far superior to IE. I think there is an insane Apple trend right now.

On 3/26/2008 11:53:07 AM Eber Irigoyen said ..
we'll see if your opinion changes when it starts crashing on you ;-)

On 3/26/2008 2:48:01 PM Sahil Malik said ..
F.Fox is lightweight? Someone hasn't tried Safari yet.

Don't you own an iPhone too?

On 3/26/2008 2:48:20 PM Sahil Malik said ..
Eber - Yeah if it crashes on me, sure my opinion will change. So far it hasn't crashed though.

On 3/26/2008 6:19:54 PM Becky Isserman said ..
Well I had the option to buy an iPhone or an XBox and Rockband...My second weakness took over...

The new version of FireFox will be lightweight that is in beta right now. 2.0 was a horrible mistake for Mozilla...They will go back to their roots in 3.0. When I started around 1.0 it was excellent. Very quick to open and it had tabs well before IE. I am actually commenting on 3.0 beta 4. I would definitely download it and test both Safari and FireFox versus each other.

I guess I'm a hypocrite the second I end up buying the iPhone I want...I'm one of those people who holds out until she gets what she wants (i.e. 3g). I saw the 16 GB and I was close again to buying. I think the thing I find most hilarious is all these SharePoint people buying MacBook Pros.

On 3/27/2008 9:02:28 AM Norm said ..
haha might as well get that Mac Book Air and run your server2003 VM on that. ;) DO IT!

On 3/27/2008 11:47:39 AM Sahil Malik said ..
MacBook Air .. maybe not.

Macbook pro .. now you're talkin' :)

On 3/27/2008 11:48:45 AM nickf said ..
I installed Safari 3.1 two days ago but uninstalled it less than 2 hours later for one main reason. **It is the ugliest app I've ever seen**. Despite the fact that it is now also a windows application, it goes out of its way to make everything look like a Mac application, and an ugly one at that. The title bars, menus, scrollbars, form elements, font rendering, EVERYTHING is different. sure you might like how it has changed it - visual style is a personal choice - but the fact is that it is different from how *I* decided to set up *my* computer. Apple has a philosophy which basically says that your computer is no longer your computer: install Safari and you'll also get iTunes and Quicktime (100mb download there) pushed upon you with the update, you'll get icons on your desktop, and in the start menu and quick launch without any option to stop it, and you'll get an application that doesn't look like anything else on your system (and it looks like butt).

Also, regarding lightweight: Safari = 22MB download vs Firefox 5.5MB.

On 3/27/2008 11:52:31 AM nickf said ..
also, regarding the two screenshots: Firefox has had incremental search with a "highlight all" option for quite some time now, and the Web Inspector, while it does look (visually) quite impressive, doesn't beat Firebug (http://www.getfirebug.com/), and for most users such a tool is useless bloatware, and really shouldn't be included in the download.

On 3/27/2008 11:54:51 AM Peter Seale said ..
I personally prefer Firefox for the plugins, specifically Firebug, Web Developer Toolbar, and Flashblock. But mostly I think it's a wash--anything but IE is a good choice, and even IE7 is okay if you're okay with slow performance and bad built-in text searching.

On 3/27/2008 1:00:26 PM Sahil Malik said ..
Nick - okay beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I personally feel that apple apps aren't beautiful looking ... but apple is good at usability. Some of apple's products like iPod and iPhone are beautiful looking as well.

The download size is not a huge issue in this broadband world. I bet the size is bigger because of application virtualization - so IMO that's a good tradeoff.

I've used firebug, and I think Apple's version is better. And hey you said it .. it looks visually impressive :).


On 3/27/2008 1:01:19 PM Sahil Malik said ..
Peter, you can't beat safari's speed, firefox's plugin's, and MSFT's IE on which a lot of stuff just works (SharePoint/ClickOnce etc.).

So I have all 3. :), but for default browsing, I've switched over to safari.

On 3/27/2008 1:23:21 PM John said ..
I agree with you Sahil. Safari screams compared to FF and IE. I have about 2 dozen RSS feed widgets on my MyYahoo home page and Safari renders the whole thing in a couple of seconds where IE is still going 6 or 7 seconds later. It does crash on me sometimes (1 out of every 35 sites). IE is much better for me(1 out of every 200 sites) and FF much worse for me (about 1 out of ever 7 sites). I haven't noticed yet whether Safari bleeds memory like FF does.

I dislike the browser color, though. When I've got several tabs open (which is often), I have to look really carefully to see which tab is actually selected.

As I developer, I have one big gripe with Safari and that's its lack of support for all the HTTP verbs, which are necessary for RESTful applications.

On 3/27/2008 1:52:59 PM Sahil Malik said ..
John - I agree man .. I have no idea why Mac fanboys like that brushed steel look. It's tough to read on frankly.

I haven't experienced crashing, but I keep my PC sterile and do all work in VMs anyway.


On 3/28/2008 10:31:17 AM Ali said ..
So I tried out the Safari browser for about 5 minutes...it's my new default browser. I still have some reservations on it, maybe that because I'm not really big on Apple, though yes Sahil, their products do kick@ss at times. But for now, I'm enjoying my 2 seconds of extra productivity compared to my old FireFox browser.

On 3/28/2008 2:16:37 PM Sahil Malik said ..
Ali, well, it's 2 seconds you didn't have before :)

On 3/28/2008 6:07:26 PM Askar said ..
I had that itch before but after Sahil's post I even got switched to Safari and couldn't believe that I had this one downloaded and sitting on my hard drive for a while. I don't like the color scheme of the browser (in-sync with the majority opinion) but I do like the font rendering particularly Apple's inset fonts, really cool and that helps make the fonts to be reduced to tiny. I love that.

The default font smoothing for Safari on Windows is set to a lower number which makes some of the renderings looks a bit bolded and ugly but there is a hack available here that would straighten some of the issues, http://webkit.org/blog/168/gdi-text-on-windows/

Hope it helps.

- Askar

On 3/28/2008 7:17:02 PM Sahil Malik said ..
Askar .. now isn't Safari fast as hell?

On 3/28/2008 11:29:57 PM Ali said ..
Okay so after reading through a couple of blogs and tech articles I ran across some Safari 3.1 for Windows news reference security vulnerabilities you might be interested in taking a look in. http://www.informationweek.com/windows/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=207000123

On 4/5/2008 2:54:13 AM Shahriar said ..
Hi Sahil -

Like yourself, I also tried the safari browser... but when I tried to use the microsoft newsgroups I had to switch back to IE.

Here is a link to test.


Try opening it in both safari and IE. You will notice that you can not drill down in messages. Maybe there is a fix or a setting in Safari, but for now.. i am back on IE.

I do enjoy reading your blog on sharepoint. Great Stuff!!! Thanks for sharing your knowledge.


On 6/25/2008 11:05:09 PM ACrush said ..
uhm... Shahriar, have you tried the google groups instead?

I tried Safari for a while and the WebKit font smoothing is really great in that it really gives you an e-paper feeling and makes fonts other than Arial and Verdana readable at any sizes, even the tiniest imaginable. So it's an editor's choice for reading, I mean for a real on-paper editor.

Leaving aside the vulnerabilities I disliked the inability to use NTLM authentication there (well, in most cases, not all) and a multitude of crashes.

So I spent a lot of time here and there, reading RSS in Opera (which has the best non-proportional image rendering as well), and now I switched to FF3. Never tested the speed, but it's very good as for the experience and addons. BTW, firebug is really great.