Ars Technica has an excellent side-by-side comparison of the nine (yup, nine) browsers currently available for OS X. Interesting to see that Safari is no longer fastest browser available (though it’s a heck of a lot faster than IE). Mozilla edges Safari on speed, by a hair. But Safari still came out on the top of the stack for a host of other reasons.
There was a thread here on birdhouse a while ago in which a few people said they were finding sites that didn’t render properly in Safari. I countered that I was having trouble finding any and hadn’t launched IE in a long time. The next day I did have some trouble using a complex multi-part form in Safari and had to switch to IE to get the job done, but haven’t had trouble since then. The Ars reviewer says virtually the same thing:
The current version [of IE] feels like a quick and dirty port to OS X and has some problems with more complex web pages. It’s a shame that this is still the default browser in OS X installations. … Thankfully, those days are over. I cannot remember the last time I had to launch it to access a web site. There is really no good reason to use this anymore.
My thoughts exactly (I also agree with the reviewer that the Mozilla-based browsers are crash-y and inelegant compared to Safari). After some disagreement at work (my colleagues are unconcerned with speed issues, more concerned that students would be confused by the transition to another browser … whatever) we decided to install both IE and Safari in the Dock and let students choose. So far they seem to be using about 70% Safari, informally measured.