I’ve started using Safari as my default browser on my Windows boxes. This took me a little by surprise. I thought I was quite happy with IE. Something about Safari feels a little slicker to me, but … is it “the fastest browser” as Apple claim?
By no means comprehensive but true to my experience so far. Safari has some behaviours that make you more aware of it working and that make it feel less snappy, such as the attention-grabbing progress-bar in the address bar; IE on the other hand has some behaviours that make it feel faster. For instance, when reloading a cached page, IE starts out using the cached data to render the page while it goes off and checks for changes, and adapts the rendering as the changes are loaded. If the page hasn’t changed, you’ve got the right page on the screen much sooner.
Of course, some people will call the IE-boosting behaviors “hacks” or “tricks”. I call them “successful”. It’s swings and roundabouts. I find that I generally use IE to browse Apple’s website which feels slow under Safari – and my month or so experience running a Mac and PC side by side is that Safari doesn’t runs at the same speed on a PC as it does on a Mac.
That said, I have started using Safari as my default browser on my PCs, although I can’t seem to put my finger on why. It could be novelty, or it could be that the out of the two browsers’ well-matched set of “Oooh” features Safari’s are a little more relevant to my browsing habbits.
It certainly isn’t because switching to Safari made my surfing any faster.