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Safari 3 brings colour-managed web browsing to Windows  
Tuesday, June 12, 2007 | by Rob Galbraith
Apple's release of a public beta of Safari 3 makes practical the colour-managed viewing of photos within a Windows web browser for the first time. In a workout of Safari 3 within Windows XP and Vista here, the new browser properly displayed pictures with embedded ICC profiles, just like Safari 3 (and earlier) does on the Mac. For that reason alone, Windows users may want to take the Safari 3 public beta for a spin, especially if you visit websites (like this one) that publish pictures with profiles embedded.
 
Here are a few things to note:
  • We updated QuickTime for Windows at the same time as we installed the Safari 3 public beta, and it's likely that QuickTime is involved in the display of pictures within Safari for Windows, so you may wish to install or upgrade QuickTime along with Safari too.

  • We've only tested the program's handling of JPEGs with embedded profiles. It's likely to work with other profile-compatible file formats such as TIFF, but we haven't confirmed this.

  • Safari 3 for Windows, at least in its public beta form, appears to lack a mechanism for automatic installation of the few Windows browser plug-ins that are available, including Adobe Flash Player. Manual installation, however, isn't difficult.

  • This web page is a good place to check whether Safari 3 public beta for Windows is colour-managing the display of photos on your machine. If colour management is working, the colour in the first two photos in the left column will shift noticeably when you hold your cursor over them, while the photo in the right column won't change in appearance.

  • There is a several-year-old technique for colour-managing photos in Internet Explorer for Windows. Rather than allowing the program to honour embedded profiles, however, special ColorInfo code must be placed in the web page's HTML and the colour space profile must be present in the operating system of the person viewing the page. As such, adoption of this technique is likely to have been non-existent.
Safari 3 public beta for Windows (and Mac) is available as a free download from Apple's website. Note that on Windows, you may not want to use Safari 3 public beta for browsing here, there and everywhere just yet, owing to several security vulnerabilities that have been discovered.
 
Revision History
June 13, 2007: Added details about ColorInfo code and security vulnerabilities.
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