Safari is the New IE…or it Isn’t…Umm

Nolan Lawson made waves with this article on Safari lagging behind other browsers.

At this point, we in the web community need to come to terms with the fact that Safari has become the new IE. Microsoft is repentant these days, Google is pushing the web as far as it can go, and Mozilla is still being Mozilla. Apple is really the one singer in that barbershop quartet hitting all the sour notes, and it’s time we start talking about it openly instead of tiptoeing around it like we’re going to hurt somebody’s feelings.

And then last night Rene Richie posted a response on iMore.

Apple is doing the opposite. Safari is of and for the open web. It has no delusions of becoming a platform. HTML5 is its platform. (If anything, Chrome and ChromeOS are in far greater danger of becoming an IE-style platform than Safari and WebKit.)

So who is more correct? I can’t really say one way or the other. I do know that in my new day-to-day job, we have more complications with Safari than any other browser. However, when I come home at the end of the day, I use Safari on my personal computer.

I do think that calling Safari “the new IE” is quite hyperpolic. Internet Explorer was bad for the web because it made proprietary features that simply could not work in other browswers. Safari’s only sin is being slower to adopt niche APIs as fast as other browswers. I would like for them to keep up (I agree that one significant update per year with each version of OS X isn’t enough) with their competitors here, but it’s a completely different scenario to IE 10 years ago.