Safari for Windows, and for the iPhone

Steve Jobs’s keynote today at WWDC is the sound of the other shoe dropping. All that griping about whether the iPhone would be opened to third party apps just went out the window. There is a third-party platform in the iPhone, and it’s called Safari. Which, incidentally, will now be available for Windows.

As a product manager, this sounds like my supported platform matrix breaking wide open. As a Windows user at work, this sounds like trumpets from heaven.

As a Mac user, it sounds like it did when iTunes and the iPod first came to Windows. New audiences for technologies on the Mac are a good thing because they tend to drive attention, and resources, to those technologies.

Back to the iPhone thing: this sounds strongly like Apple is making a bet on web application development being the future, at least for phones. Based on the explosion in Dashboard widget development, I’d say they may have a point. Being able to code in HTML+CSS+JavaScript has its advantages for a large number of tasks. Interestingly, games are not among the tasks that the AJAX stack has historically excelled at. I wonder if that means that the iPhone will be a games free platform, or if the partnership that Apple announced today with EA will bring further developments in that direction?