Microsoft Web sites and Adobe Flash sending Safari off-course?

Scattered reports of trouble and a few big misses

With Apple aggressively foisting Safari 3.1 on Windows users, millions are likely trying out the Web browser for the first time.

Though many are finding the free browser, as touted by Apple, to be both faster and more accurate at displaying Web pages, not everyone is happy.

According to online complaints, a number of Web sites run by Microsoft don't load at all under Safari. Microsoft sites that have been confirmed include Windows Live Hotmail, Office Live Workspace and Office Live Small Business.

Windows Live Mail is the second most popular US e-mail service, behind Yahoo! Mail, according to HitWise.

Office Live Workspace is Microsoft's answer, sort of, to Google Docs, while Office Live Small Business is a Web-hosting-and-more package aimed at small- and medium-sized businesses.

Other users say claim Safari itself isn't working properly on Windows. Some say Safari has a memory leak problem. Others say Safari does not render Web pages as well as claimed.

Flash unplugged?

One of the most common complaints is that Adobe Systems' Flash plug-in is malfunctioning under Safari.

"Flash works fine in FireFox. Will not work in Safari," wrote one user, 'wriba', on Apple's own Safari discussion forum. Flash "does not/will not show up as an installed plugin in Safari. My OS is Vista. Without this plugin, Safari (while I like it) is relatively worthless."

Other users, including 'cypherpunk,' 'SuperSizeit,' and 'Desert Warrior,' echoed the complaints.

"Apple, are you monitoring this thread? Any help???" wrote 'sbw102' on Apple's forum.

This reporter encountered one Web site that did not recognize the Flash plug-in in Safari. But he was not able to replicate most of the problems mentioned by users.

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Eric Lai

Computerworld
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