Apple makes Safari Web browser available to Windows users |

Apple makes Safari Web browser available to Windows users

AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO – Apple Inc. launched a version of its Safari Web browser for Windows-based PCs on Monday, adding yet another tentacle to its multi-pronged encroachment of Microsoft Corp.’s turf.

“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, at the same time, attract new converts to its products. The upcoming iPhone seeks to be another draw.

In fact, Apple said Monday 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 slickness of its gadget designs notwithstanding, the key to Apple’s success and reputation for ease of use is its software and how well it integrates with its hardware.

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“There are a lot of connections between our products and here’s one more,” Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller said of the Windows version of Safari. “And the more people who like our applications, the more it might mean they’ll buy other products from us.”

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.