A Windows user rocking Apple's Safari Web browser is the unicorn of computer setups, and it appears as if Apple might have mowed down the magical forest.
According to a published report, Apple appears to have mostly scrubbed its site of any download links to the Windows version of Safari – perfectly timed for today's release of Safari 6.
Safari for Windows might be sitting in a coffin, but Apple has yet to pound in the final nail; Windows users can still grab Safari for Windows version 5.1.7 after a little bit of hunting around Apple's support pages (opens in new tab).
Yes, that's the version of Safari that shipped with OS X 10.7.4 this past May.
But good luck trying to find any kind of reference to the existence of Safari for Windows on anything but Apple's support pages.
Why End the Safari?
Speculation as to why Apple's nixed the references includes the possibility that Apple's just no longer interested in devoting resources to a Windows port of its big OS X browser.
Additionally, since Safari 6 is more tied into the OS X operating system (as a result of features like its Password Pane and Offline Reading List), it makes logical sense that Apple chose this moment to start its grand Windows purge.
There's also the question of market share – specifically, Safari currently ranks fourth among the "Big Four" browsers for worldwide use.
With but 4.7 percent of worldwide users surfing on Safari, according to statistics from NetMarketShare, it stands to reason that a high percentage of this chunk comes from users tapping into Safari as a result of it being the default browser within OS X.
Or, as Forbes' Adrian Kingsley-Hughes puts it:
"While I find Safari to be an adequate browser for the Mac OS X platform, when it comes to Windows I'd put it behind Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera and even Microsoft's Internet Explorer. In fact, the only time I even fire it up on Windows is when I'm testing something," he writes.
With such ringing endorsements – and likely low user counts – Apple dropping Safari for Windows seems more like an expectation than a surprise.
However, Apple is still supporting Webkit development for Windows – and, in fact, continuing to release nightly builds of the open-source framework – which has led some to think that Safari for Windows is merely delayed, not extinguished for good.
While Apple hasn't officially confirmed that Windows-based Safari is dead, it's not as if the company has taken to the airwaves to offer up an explanation as to where it's gone, either.
In other words, Windows Safari fans shouldn't hold their collective breath.
All five of you.