Apple launches PC version of Safari browser


SAN FRANCISCO  -- Apple Inc. entered the Internet browser business on Monday, launching a version of its Safari program to run on Windows-based PCs, pitting it against Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer and Mozilla's Firefox.

"What we've got here is the most innovative browser in the world and the most powerful browser in the world," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs said during his keynote speech at the Worldwide Developers Conference.

Safari, which was released a few years ago for Macintosh computers, had grown to about 5% of the world's market share of Internet browsers with over 18 million users, Jobs said.

Internet Explorer is the predominant browser with a 78% share, while Firefox has rapidly climbed to gain about 15% of the market, he said.

But Jobs claimed Safari performed twice as fast as its competitors while demonstrating some Web searches at the event.

Never one to disappoint his audience, the iconic chief executive -- in his final highlight of his 1 1/2 hour speech -- also pulled out an iPhone and told the thousands of developers before him that the highly anticipated hybrid smart phone and iPod will carry the full Safari engine.

That means, Jobs said, that any application meant to run on the Safari browser for Mac computers would also be fully accessible and compatible with the iPhone.