Why Safari looks out of place on Windows...
In yesterday's post, I wrote:
If you thought iTunes and QuickTime looked out of place in Windows, wait till you see this thing; it’s like Apple ripped Safari out of OS X, added a menu bar to the top, and called it a Windows app. Textboxes, buttons, radio buttons, checkboxes…they all use the bubbly Aqua style. I guess this wouldn’t be so bad if it were 2004 and we were all skinning XP to look like OS X, but can we get something more native, please? Probably unlikely, but one can always hope.
And there's a reason why I said a more native interface is unlikely, even after the browser leaves the beta stage - it's because I'm almost certain that the OS X look-and-feel was actually preserved intentionally.
Safari is unapologetically a Mac app and does almost nothing the "Windows way", with the possible exception of maximizing behavior.
I think this is absolutely by design. You have to understand that Safari isn't so much a pretender to the IE/Firefox throne as it is a *Mac Emulator*. It's intended to facilitate development of Safari compatible web apps (and technically iPhone apps) by making them dead simple to test. You no longer even have to beg, borrow, or steal a Mac to see if your web app behaves under Safari. Just download and go.
So from that perspective-- and I can't think of any others that make any business sense-- the closer Safari's behavior is to the Mac version, the better.
There you have it. Making the Windows version of Safari almost identical to its Mac counterpart is actually beneficial for development testing, which is undoubtedly the primary reason why Apple is bestowing Safari upon the Windows world.
End-users on Windows are surely not going to be happy about this, just as Mac users dislike the way Firefox paints non-native widgets on OS X, but that's the way its likely to stay. Perhaps a team of enterprising individuals might spin off a project to build a WebKit-based Windows browser that fits in better, similar to what Camino does with Mozilla's Gecko, but it'll take a long time before something like that reaches the level of maturity that other mainstream browsers on Windows have achieved by now. Swift, for instance, is still far from really being usable.
P.S. If you like the textarea resizing feature in the Safari beta, you might want to try the Resizeable Textarea extension for Firefox that I've been using for several months now. :)