Until January 7, 2003, people referred to Safari as “a trip taken by tourists to Africa, not for the purposes of hunting, but to observe and photograph animals and other wildlife.” After that day, it also got a new meaning: Apple’s own Internet browser.
Before this, Apple used to ship various browsers with Macintosh computers, including Netscape Navigator, Cyberdog and also Internet Explorer (as a part of its five-year deal with Microsoft). On January 7, 2003, at MacWorld, San Francisco, Steve Jobs announced that Apple had developed its own web browser, called Safari.
Today, according to popular statistics, Safari is the fourth most popular browser in the world, after Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. A few days back I posted why Chrome was so named – today lets talk about Safari!
So why Safari? What’s so special in this name? Though no official statement has been revealed from Apple Inc regarding its naming convention, Apple wanted its browser to have a name with a ‘verb’ in it, similar to Netscape Navigator, Internet Explorer, etc. – some description which was apt!
Safari, in a broader sense, means exploring the wild, especially on the African land. Hence the bosses at Apple might have connected the name ‘Safari’ as a means to navigate or explore the web. Ohh – Navigate or Explore sound great, but both these were already taken! So they settled for ‘Safari’.
Safari is at present available for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X.
PS: Dave adds in the comments – It’s called Safari as a tribute to the Beach Boys, surfing the web, “Surfing Safari”.