back to article Apple's Safari lacks bold vision

Another issue has cropped up with Apple's newly released beta of Safari for Windows. This time, the browser is having trouble seeing bold text on web pages. Headlines (including those of The Register) have mysteriously disappeared. Half of the web in Safari is practically invisible. The Register as viewed by Apple's Safari …


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  1. wvu grad

    Where all the Apple Zealots now?

    So Apply gets into the browser wars, falls on its face with its first attempt, and there isn't a peap about it.

    If this were Microsoft, all you apple zealots would be all over them.

  2. elder norm

    Of course

    You said,"Of course, it is beta and expected to include bugs, but come on, even Mozilla's alpha versions of its Gran Paradiso browser aren't this bad. ®"

    Of course, if its Vista or XP or IE, then we have been conditioned to accept, ignore, or even love the bugs. Cause Microsoft told us so. :-)

    Given the direction that I think Apple is going here, I would not be surprised if there is not quite a big battle ahead between Apple and Microsoft, and of course Google - Firefox and Microsoft, and ..... well........ EVERYONE else and Microsoft. LOL


  3. Alan

    Makes a change

    At least it proves Apple aren't infallable. Although it gives all non-apple fans something to gloat a bout.

    I must say, i havn't had any problems yet, but i'm not using it for anything but browsing (no passowrds, no foreign language sites, no banking etc..)

  4. Rob

    Browser Wars, really?!?

    I don't think it's even going to come to a browser war. The average non technical computer user is going to stick with what they have installed and have been using and trust. Most home users I get calls from use IE and don't have any problems with it due to the type of surfing they are doing.

    It won't be a war but more a small skirmish for us tech heads and like.

  5. sektah

    which is funnier?

    I can't figure out which is funnier ; Safari's craptacular beta performance, or the orgasmic over-reaction from people looking for a reason to complain about Apple.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'll tell you where the Apple zealots are now...

    All the Apple zealots are currently running the Safari Beta on Mac OS X with no problems, that's where they are now, wvu grad.

    Of course they're not running into the problems Windows users are having, because they don't use Windows!

  7. Andy

    More of an alpha, really

    There are a couple of really silly mistakes in this release for Windows - including a localisation issue, which can be solved by the creation of a couple of empty lproj folders... When they've ported such significant frameworks, it's really kinda funny that they overlooked some simple things like that.

    I guess the exploits are to be expected in a brand-new application. I'd be interested to know how many unpatched vulnerabilities there are in Firefox and IE, because I'm betting there are probably a lot more than have been _currently_ discovered in Safari. But the actual release is what's gonna count, so long as is doesn't sully Safari's reputation; and that would be a shame, because Safari's rendering engine is the most accurate (note: this is not the same as 'compatible') of all the browsers.

  8. Rob Kirton

    Jury's out

    Intsalled on two machines XP SP2

    - Fine on one

    - Cannot configure the toolbar on other (also occasional crash)

    Why on Erath was the home button ommited and needed post install configuration?

    I prefer to surf under Linux, so not really a Microsoft Fanboy. However I must say IE 7 mops the floor with this (and the native Apple product) where it comes to quality of text rendering.

    I guess I will still be using at at some point, post release, for testing purposes.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple Fan but not Fanboy.

    Safari has always been lackluster. Definitely not as good as Firefox or even Internet Explorer. Though this is admittedly the worst that I've seen from it.

    Steve Jobs, if you're reading this, forget Safari. Just package Firefox with all future OS X releases.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: Where all the Apple Zealots now?

    Oh, we're still here. We're all secretly sniggering that it's obviously something Microsoft have done in Windows that stops it working properly...

    (And we're all still typing without spelling mistakes.)

  11. aellath

    It's a BETA

    So there will be oofs. What burns me are the full-on "complete" versions of MS software i have to run that still have oofs.

    Besides -- when i view the Reg with Safari on XP, it looked fine -- better, in fact, because it didn't have those bleeding mid-article adverts!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Register looks fine

    I have Safari 3 Beta installed on a Mac Pro running 10.4.9, a new machine without too much installed, and the The Register web site looks fine. (Looks the same with Safari as it does FireFox The only site(s) that I'm having problems with are and, bold type looks extra bold. No type is missing though.

    I also have Safari 3 Beta installed on an old TiBook 500 running 10.4.9 that has been upgraded from 10.2 to to 10.3 to 10.4.9, it carries alot of software baggage, and I haven't had any problems with Safari.

  13. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Give them a break

    It's a beta of a browser which Apple have released to get more testing.

    Even final releases have bugs, so expect a beta to have quite a number.

    Apple are used to development on OS X where the OS doesn't have such vast differences like the Windows world.

    People still use Windows 98, 2000 and the number of versions of XP and Vista make developing a Windows product tricky.

    This is a port of an OS X application to a totally different OS, there will be problems initially. I would imagine the first version of Internet Explorer on the Mac was full of bugs. In fact IE was never a great application on the Mac.

  14. Glenn Gilbert


    I wonder why Steve Jobs seems to be playing for the MS team . Given he's the master of spin, why would Apple release a rather poor beta of, lets face it, a rather poor browser?

    Just what would New Labour do if they were in this position...?

    * There was so little to talk about in the WWDC keynote that this was added at the last moment as a filler...

    * Some other news has been - or is about to be released - that would be buried by this "disaster"...

    * Everyone in Apple has been focused on the iPhone to the detriment of everything else..

    * Apple made a mistake (I just don't go for this one!)...

    Anyway, it's an awful beta that really does look like an alpha product and it's not going to do Apple any favours.

  15. Keith Spencer

    Its the beta stupid

    Wow! This thing is a beta and people are all over it like it's an actual product. Whilst this is the worst beta I've seen from Apple in a while, it IS still just a beta. They've even got a nice little submit bug feature so they are at least expecting problems. They KNOW there are bugs folks.. People do seem to make the assumption that since Apple normally delivers great betas (Bootcamp for example) that it always does. Curiously enough most of the problems are on Windows machines. I've been running it on OS X since it's release without a problem although there are a couple of new features I dislike. But hey. It's a Beta. Get over it!

  16. Kevin Fullerton

    Multi-monitor support

    I've already reported to Apple the problem that if I try to maximise Safari on any apart from my primary screen, Safari disappears, but the task bar item still stays there - the only way to get it back is to kill the process.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple Zealots

    aren't really reading this post coz none of them (read us) really give a monkey's whatsits about what browser you use on your virus, I mean, on windows.

    Putting Safari on windows is like putting formula 1 slicks on a beaten up ol' 1300 Corsa..

  18. Steve Anderson

    I've tried it

    It's alright, nothing special. Looks a lot like Firefox in an iTunes skin with ugly font rendering and none of the plug-in goodness I'm used to, but runs okay.

    That's all I have to say about it. It's very average feeling. There's no USP, it's just... okay.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A New Industry

    Yep, Apple fell on it's face, but so did the Hudson automobile. While the overall browser may suck I'm sure Apple will develop at least a few innovations that will be included in future versions of all browsers. Look what FF did for browsers. Without them IE users would never have gotten tabbed browsing. (the only real benefit I ever saw to FF)

    Technology is cool because when someone else has a great idea you can incorporate it into your own good idea and make things better for everyone.

    Oh, no, wait, you can't do that. Intellectual "property" laws prohibit you from learning from others. Shit. I guess we'll just be stuck with a few good features surrounded by a pile of steaming crap forever. I say back to pencils and drafting boards.

  20. Oczhlan

    Apple zealots

    It's only happening on Windows!

    Steve Jobs: stay hungry, stay foolish!

  21. Terrin

    I hope Complaining People are Reporting Bugs

    I have tested the Beta on both OSX and XP. On both machines I have so far experienced zero issues. I can only assume I am not the only one. As such, it hardly seems fair to suggest the Beta is highly buggy. From my experience, Explorer 7 on XP is highly buggy. In fact, I had the same problem with it chopping off the top of the menu expressed here concerning Safari. Nonetheless, the whole point of releasing a Beta is so that people will test it out and report bugs (which is easy to do using Safari).

    I will also say on OSX Safari seems quicker then the previous one, and there are a few useful new features. On XP, Safari is definitely Quicker then both Explorer 7 and Firefox 2. I think the main reason is that both Firefox and Explorer on the XP machine I am using are blotted down with features and plugins. For instance, it takes forever for the Yahoo and Google tool bar on Explorer to load. I think the beauty of Safari is that it really is a simple browser. There are features I wish it had, like better ad blogging, but there are plugins that accomplish that desire.

  22. tim chubb

    opera beats em all

    as title

    konquorer/safari = okish, could try harder, annoying imcompatibilities and scripting hassle

    gecko/mozilla/nutscrape = would be ok if they would fix those damn memory leaks

    IE = no excuse for the bodge that it is, why cant ie6 support png's properly??, ms firefox slow, but i quite like the RSS reader in it

    opera, does it all, let the peons fight to the death as opera watches over, improves and innovates its competition

  23. yeah, right.

    apple zealot here!

    Hey, I'm an Apple zealot, and it's all the fault of them having to hire people who had worked on Microsoft in order to program the thing. Working with Microsoft makes the brain go soft, and makes people write crappy, bug-ridden code. Which is exactly what's happening with Safari on Microsoft.

    Never had these problems with Safari on Mac. Oh, wait, I don't use Safari on Mac. I use Firefox.

    Never mind.

  24. Dillon Pyron

    I wouldn't know

    I wouldn't know. I don't have time to install it at home (I really don't have a personal life at this time). At work, we tried. Installed it. Came up fine and showed internal sites (XP SP2). Set the proxy and went outside. Safari disappeared. Tried it again, same result. Tried it a third time. Insanity is when you do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result.

  25. Joe Cooper

    Apple software

    Apple software really isn't that bug free as everyone likes to complain. I'm using Quicktime 7 right now and it's awful.

    I'm trying to remove audio tracks from several files, and when I remove the track, and resave, nothing happens. No error, no change to the file. So I need to export the video track, but then when I save over, still nothing happens.

    To get it to save I need to save as a new file, completely close out of all Quicktime windows, delete the old file, then rename the new one to the old one.

    Now I ~could~ try running it on Macintosh instead of Windows, but since I bought the Windows version, I can't use my $30 license key on the Mac version. Not that I would bother anyway, cause:

    1) For one thing, several of these videos had problems and the Mac version wouldn't even give me an error message of any kind. They'd just show up white. The Windows version told me EXACTLY what was wrong in detail.

    2) The Macintosh will try to automatically update to Quicktime 8 when it comes out, wiping my key. It does this with iTunes. I try to remove it, and every few days the software update shows up demanding I reinstall it.

    I tell it to fuck off. Again and again and again.

    What a beautiful DESIGN!!! OMG

    And taking screenshots is just dandy. Control+Shift+Command+4+Space+Mouseclick+Touch the screen with my fucking nose.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: RE: Where all the Apple Zealots now?

    "We're all secretly sniggering that it's obviously something Microsoft have done in Windows that stops it working properly..."

    Where do we find these people...yes of course, thats right, Microsoft released a patch immedietly after the Beta Safari release so it crashes and has security issues, it is nothing to do with the quality of Apple code.....

    Please, put on your tinfoil hat and wait for the black helicopters but don't waste our time here.

  27. Nexox Enigma


    First off, I agree completely with Mr. Chubb. Opera tends to rock on all 3 platforms on which I use it. I assume nobody else trys it out because... well they are either an Apple or Mozilla fanboy. But I don't care what browser other people use, just so long as I have the right one.

    Second, people are bashing this beta because the level of bugs that it contains are pretty clearly beyond the beta allowance. Betas are supposed to be useable, so that people can test them. It is absolutely unuseful to have it crash immediately half the time, because Apple obviously already knows that happens, and doesn't need feedback. I've used plenty of MS betas (I remember being quite excited for the IE6 Beta...) and they all work pretty damned well. Even their OS Betas work better than OS X lower than 10.3.

    More to the point, we /could/ have a browser war on our hands. Safari will be bundled with Itunes, just like Itunes comes with Quicktime. Thats an obvious first move. Who here can absolutely deny that Apple would have Safari steal the default browser status say, any time a user opened Itunes or Quicktime, or plugged in their Ipod, or gods know what else. Loads of those Windows / Apple users won't know or care how to switch back, and web developers around the world will find themselves supporting a 4th set of special cases to support the 'popular' browsers.

  28. sleepy

    You're missing the point, chaps

    Presumably Apple can adequately fix the bugs for release, so their presence isn't very interesting.

    What's interesting is that this is the only browser on iPhone, and it's the only browser from a commercial organisation with Google's CEO on the board. Google Apps and Google Gears are going to get any help they want. And with 10-45M iPhones by the end of 2008, web sites, especially Web 2.0 sites, will make sure they work with Safari.

    Then there's the ad revenue share from the Google/Yahoo search box.

    I think it will do fine. It's simple, looks like iTunes, and renders pages quickly and attractively ( when it works ;-)

  29. Peter Haydon

    Went berserk on my WinXP system

    Safari went completely mental on my laptop. Sucked all of the memory out (> 600MB on a 1GB system) which resulted in everything else having no more than 6MB each. It then started see-sawing the memory allocation between 40MB and 220MB. In all this time, it had only managed to display part of the frame/buttons at the top of the window.

    I decided to kill the process and de-install. Shame, as I'm a Mac fan but I don't think I'll be letting it close to my M$ systems for some time.

  30. Tim Weigel

    Rolled back to Safari 2

    After encountering the interesting Safari behavior on my Vista machine, I tried installing the Safari 3 beta on my older iBook G4. I rolled back to Safari 2 after about 20 minutes of experimenting with Safari 3. The main issue I had was with text overlapping on web pages. I thought it was just on the various Google sites at first, but then found the problem on other sites as well. Expanding the Safari window and refreshing the pages in question didn't help the rendering issues - text was still overlapping in many cases.

    I didn't try Safari 3 on XP or a newer Mac - Vista and iBook experiences were plenty, thanks.

    I've always been somewhat ambivalent about Safari. I like the idea of a browser showing off Apple's capabilities, but the implementation never really did it for me. I had higher hopes for the Safari 3 beta on either platform, but it's still a beta so I'm not that broken up. Were I tied exclusively to Safari I might be a bit more concerned, but since I habitually keep multiple browsers on every box it's more a nuisance than anything else.

    Heck, Apple can't even get iTunes to work consistently on Vista, so I'm not all that surprised that the Safari beta is flaky. At least Safari doesn't make the Vista box BSOD...

  31. sleepy

    Safari will get 50% market share regardless

    It has porn mode (Edit->Private Browsing...). (Of course Google still remembers).

  32. Richard Halkyard


    The first thing I thought when I saw that was ROT13... Maybe I've just spent too much time on Usenet.

  33. heystoopid

    Long live Opera

    What can one one say Apple merely releasing Job's vision of the internet viewed as it were from his own rose coloured glasses!

    At least at last , we now know why Safari is such a low ranked POS browser , that can barely be able to work within the minimum web compliant standards unlike many of it's better competitors!

    Long live Opera!

  34. Aubry Thonon

    Yes, it's BETA

    And obviously a lot of the people writing these comments have no idea of what Beta is *supposed* to mean.

    As an ex-Application Programmer (now Architect), Alpha and Beta can be equated to Integration and User Acceptance testing. Or in other words:

    Alpha: We *know* there are bugs in it and we are testing it to find where they are. Don't show this to the users. Ever.

    Beta: We *hope* to have gotten all the major bugs out of it. Product should work pretty much as advertised, but let's have the users test it - they'll come up with something we forgot about.

    Based on what I have been reading, Apple released an Alpha version of Safari and did it badly. Appla fans keep on harping that it works fine on their Apple machine... that's all right and good, except this was supposed to be the release of a WINDOWS-CAPABLE version of Safari... and Apple f*d up big time on this one.

    Someone in the PR department obviously failed to talk to their counterpart in the IT department.

  35. David Mantripp


    "Someone in the PR department obviously failed to talk to their counterpart in the IT department."

    No, someone in the PR department obviously failed to LISTEN to their counterpart in the IT department.

    Like every software company larger than 5 people in the known universe, I seriously doubt that Apple is PHB-free.

  36. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Safari better on XP than Vista ?

    Well there's no problem then. Nobody sane uses Vista, so the issues are moot.

    (on track to change the Windows vs Mac war to a Vista vs XP war ;-).

    Anyway, I really like this kind of thread for the snide remarks - "none of them (read us) really give a monkey's whatsits about what browser you use on your virus, I mean, on windows".

    Spot on ! Five stars there.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    not the first time!

    I can't understand why anyone would say

    'it's all the fault of them having to hire people who had worked on Microsoft in order to program the thing'

    They do have other bits of windows software - QT & iTunes.


    I totally agree with the people who say Opera is the best browser - cuz it is!! :)


    As a web developer, I am glad that this will eventually surface as a usable app, it means i don't have to keep bugging my designer mate to check all my work on his macBookPro - roll on a full stable secure release!!

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm with stupid ^^^^


  39. Andy Blackman

    No visible impact

    I run a 2 display system on xp, ran safari on the 2nd screen, maximized it and...

    it vanished! This is entirely reproduceable. Not a particularly good first impression - i guess apple just aren't used to working with a wide variety of hardware.

  40. Lee McKenna

    Beta Testing

    My PC has XP service pack2.. It page just don't display well at all..

    Just how much testing did apple do before the Beta?? Just as well I don't own a Mac!!!

  41. Law

    lol @ Safari

    To all the people screaming "It's a beta".... no.. it's more like an alpha... or a proof of concept because the thing sucks even on basic things like bold text.

    Remember the beta's for Vista... and people laughed at every problem they had on the way... well yeah, none of you were crying "its a beta" then were you!

    My opinion... they should have waited before releasing the "beta"... I don't like M$, but I don't like double standards either!!

    Oh yeah - Safari sucks on the mac and it sucks even more on the PC.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Crash test dummies

    >This is entirely reproduceable. Not a particularly good first impression - i guess apple just aren't used to working with a wide variety of hardware<

    Same sort of thing here. When I try to reset the default homepage to I receive a dialog box asking if I am sure that I want to do what I want to do:L well, der. Then it has a bash at my instruction whereupon it crashes and shuts down - every time - at least it is consistantly bad in its defense

    Other niggles are hardly worth a mention; but the UI sucks on several design fronts being slow to resize, having an proprietary, not to mention, ugly chrome. Tabbed dialog boxes with no 'OK', 'Apply' or 'Cancel' buttons, tabs with the close window cross on the left, poor context menus and the meanest little status bar that ever to disgrace my monitor

    Site-rendering is nothing special and is certainly no quicker than IE7, which is in turn quicker than FF2 and Opera on my box. Font-rendering is sucky: I want to read the text on screen, not print the internet

    Proxies ? Er, sorry, you will need to wait for the final release product to beta test that _minor_ feature

    This is an ill-conceived and poorly executed lame duck: come back Nutsrape 4, all is forgiven

  43. James O'Shea

    Safari bugs

    Safari 3 beta seems to work properly on WinXP Home and WinXP Pro, where I've installed it on numerous machines without a problem. It goes tits-up on contact with WinXP Media Centre (not that I blame it for not wanting to have anything to do with _that_ thing) at least on the two machines I've tried it on, and it causes network connections on Vista Business and Vista Premium to slow down by a factor of at least five. Given that one of my test machines had XP Home, XP Pro, XP Media, and Vista Business on it, all of them virgin installs, and Safari worked with XP Home and Pro but not with XP Media or Vista Business, I suspect that whatever the problem is, it ain't hardware.

    I don't see the bold/no bold problem, though.

  44. Christopher

    No problems here...

    I must be inside the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field or something, but on my Vista computer I have no issues with Safari 3 Beta, and it runs blazingly fast. No blurry text, no missing bold, no crazy broken languages, or odd errors. I also have to appreciate the restore last session thing though (the one feature that was holding me fast to Firefox) as occasionally I can mis-click and close something I didn't want to or whatnot.

  45. Brian Allan

    Safari has problems on iMAC as well

    Problems with Safari on Windows should come as no surprise. I've given up using it on its platform of origin. The problems I've heard described on Windows are also present when it is run on the iMAC... Particularly annoying is its habit of crashing the moment you attempt to type text into a form text box!!

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