Safari 4.0 is way faster; downloads for PC, Mac

Apple today announced the beta release of Safari 4.0, and it's promising blazing fast browsing, for Mac or PC users.

It has a new "Nitro Engine," that Apple says executes JavaScript up to 30 times faster than Internet Explorer 7 and more than 3 times faster than Firefox 3. (Side note: Firefox is THAT much faster than IE7?) It also loads pages about 3 times faster than either browser, according to Apple.

Other new features:
• Top Sites: Safari 4.0 tracks your favorite sites based on your browsing history and gives you a look at up to 24 thumbnails of those sites. The display is customizable, and you can "pin" a specific site to a specific spot in the thumbnail display. Sites with new content have a little star inthe upper-right-hand corner.
• Cover Flow: A way to flip through website previews as if they're album art on iTunes. The sites look like they did last time you visited, so you can recognize it.
• Full History Search: Keeps a thumbnail of every page in your history so you don't have to actually visit each site again to find that one you just can't remember. Searchable by just a keyword or phrase, anywhere in the thumbnail.
• Tabs on Top: Just what it sounds like. The tabs move to the tippy-top of the browser window, instead of underneath all the toolbars you've downloaded.
• Windows Native options: You can make it look just like Windows - fonts, colors, borders, etc.
• Developer Tools: Will Safari ever be as customizable as Firefox? They're trying.
• Full-Page Zoom: Supposed to keep everything crisp and readable, while letting you zoom in on the very smallest of the small.

Could this be enough to gain some ground and snatch some of the Apple market back from Firefox and maybe even snag some Windows users? Time will tell.