its biggest selling point seems to be that it does not suck half as much as the previous version. In fact, in my personal tests I found that it sucked 4.2 times less than Safari 3.
They seem to have borrowed heavily from IE 7 and Google’s Chrome. From the UI to the tabs to the menu’s–it seems more like a mash up of these two popular browsers.
The Win version uses a native Windows UI, that is a big improvement (my private testing shows the UI sucks 2.6 times less than the previous version.) They also dumped the Mac style font rendering, another improvement…there is an entire generation of Mac users who are pissed at Apple for allowing their rendering to sit side by side with Windows. (It is hard to say you are superior when everyone who has checked it out says it sucks.)
The new graphics heavy stuff is eye candy for the sake of eye candy…poorly implemented. How do I launch a page from Top Sites with the keyboard? One would have thought they would have figured that out before adding 3d effects.
Overall this is a huge gain in usability…the fugly font rendering is gone, the ugly grey UI is gone… Unfortunately, Apple’s copying of features was not enough, it still sits in 4th place in the browser world. Yes even though it sucks 4.2 times less than the previous version, it still sucks (just much less so).
[Please refrain from flaming me…much of this post is in jest.]
Please Apple, gives itunes a makeover too.
Edit: Kidding aside, once they get Safari stable it will be competitive with IE, Chrome, and/or Firefox. Now that IE, Chrome, and Safari use the same basic interface, firefox looks out dated. I hear (read rumor) that IE8 has hit RTM. It is really good to see the browser market competitive again.