NetApplications.com's Market Share reports a large spike in the percentage of Windows users using Apples' Safari browser for the months of March and April. They theorize that this signifiant spike is a direct result of Apple's sneaky approach of getting Windows users to unwittingly install Safari 3.1
and have it automatically set as the default browser:
"On March 18th, Apple released the Safari 3.1 web browser for Windows and the Mac. With the release, Apple also included Safari 3.1 with Apple's Software Update service on Windows. It was labeled as an update with the option to install pre-selected. The update has been pushed to millions of Windows users of Apple's other software products, like iTunes. Normally, Apple's Software Update service is not used for delivery of new products. Clearly, this is a calculated risk by Apple that has annoyed and/or alienated some users."
Apple eventually reacted to the backlash
and made the option to install Safari on Windows systems more transparent. Regardless, the impact was a sizable increase in the number of Windows users surfing the Web with Safari in the last two months.
With less than one percent of Windows users using Safari, it is still far from giving Firefox or Internet Explorer a run for the money. The increasing popularity of Apple products such as the iPhone, Macbooks, iMacs, and iTunes, however, combined with Apple's clever marketing campaigns, might make some Windows users curious enough to see what Safari has to offer.