Last night, I made Safari my default Web browser in Windows. With any luck, I won’t be turning back to Internet Explorer or Firefox any time soon. But while some initial issues with the beta version of Safari 3 have been well-documented, including security and font rendering, at least for me, the biggest hole in the current offering is .Mac integration.
Apple’s .Mac is an integral part of the Safari experience, especially if you routinely run more than one computer from different locations. Across computers, my bookmarks and folders in Safari are perfectly synchronized. If I make changes or bookmark a new site at home, the changes are made at work, thanks to .Mac. But on Safari for Windows, I don’t have those bookmarks at all – a significant blow to the user experience.
I see two routes Apple can go to remedy the missing .Mac functionality in Safari. First, and likely easiest, would be to add a .Mac tab within the Preferences of Safari. I would enter my login details, and they would be synchronized from Cupertino. The backup option would be to create a Control Panel for .Mac within Windows, similar to the preference pane in Mac OS X today. But adding a .Mac control panel for Windows might indicate support for other .Mac staples, including Backup, iCal and Mail.app.
If Steve Jobs and the rest of Apple don’t want to give away the full Mac experience to those who haven’t yet made the switch, .Mac integration in the Preferences section of Windows Safari is the way to go. In my limited time with Safari on Windows so far, I’m very impressed with how similarly the application follows its Mac counterpart, and I hope .Mac integration is coming soon.