Apple Boasts 11 Millions Downloads of Safari 4 in Three Days

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Apple has long been shipping its own Web browser Safari with its Mac OS X operating system—and later for Windows PCs as well—as part of an effort started when Microsoft lost interest in developing Internet Explorer for the Mac several year ago. Earlier this week Apple formally rolled out Safari 4 for Mac and Windows at the top of its World Wide Developers Conference…and now the company is trumpeting that the browser has been downloaded some 11 million times in the ensuing three days.

While Safari 4’s download numbers have no doubt been assisted by Apple pushing the browser out to Macintosh users via Software Update, the company claims over than six million of the downloads in the first three days were for the Windows version.

Safari 4 is based on the WebKit browser engine—which is leveraged off of KHTML and also serves as the basis for Google’s Chrome Web browser. Safari 4 rolls in support for features in HTML 5, top-flight CSS support (including CSS Canvas and CSS Effects), and snappy performance (including Apple’s bytecode Nitro JavaScript engine it claims is up to 6 times faster than Internet Explorer 8). It’s also the only browser (so far) that passes the Acid 3 rendering test.

On the feature front, Safari 4 offers a Cover Flow feature similar to iTunes and the Mac OS X Leopard Finder that lets users flip back and forth between pages to find the one the want, a fully searchable history, and a visual overview of user-definable “top sites.” Safari 4 is also due to pick up a speed boost running as a 64-bit application under Mac OS X Snow Leopard, due later this year.