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The latest version of Apple’s Safari Web browser functions poorly, or crashes altogether, on computers running Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system, according to frustrated users.
“When I try to start Safari 3.1 in Windows XP, it crashes right away,” said SakJosep, in a post currently on Apple’s online support forum.
“I have this problem too, I have no idea what it is,” said another user, OllieK92.
“I’ve tried removing and installing a new Safari — still fails to open,” reported KobeKungFu.
Such complaints are echoing across a Safari support forum thread on Apple’s Web site that’s drawn more than 1,000 views in the past week — an indication that the problem could be widespread.
There were also scattered reports of Safari 3.1 not functioning properly on computers running Windows Vista. Many of the posters said they were able to successfully run earlier versions of Safari on Windows.
The glitches are the latest example of how new software, even if it’s been thoroughly tested prior to release, can cause problems. Despite a months-long beta program, Microsoft’s Windows Vista SP1 has been drawing complaints since it debuted a week ago from users who say it won’t run on their systems.
Apple released Safari 3.1 last week to generally positive reviews. The updated browser features enhanced search tools, support for a range of new HTML specifications, and beefed up security.
But Apple’s been hit with criticism for the way it launched the new browser. The company included it as a stealth update for users of its iTunes and QuickTime software. Mozilla CEO John Lilly likened the strategy to tactics used by hackers to insert malicious code into downloads.
“Apple has made it incredibly easy — the default, even — for users to install ride-along software that they didn’t ask for, and maybe didn’t want,” said Lilly, in a blog post last week. “This is wrong, and borders on malware distribution practices,” said Lilly.
Safari competes with Mozilla’s Firefox product in the Web browser market.