Twenty years ago (Jan 5th, 2020) Steve Jobs demoed Internet Explorer 5 for Mac. The app was chosen by Jobs for its bold UI, which was developed in complete secrecy within Microsoft but had an uncanny resemblance of the yet-to-be-unveiled Acqua interface of Mac OS X.

Maf Vosburgh, one of the developers who worked on the project, writes:

Coming from the artist-influenced multimedia world, the visual style Microsoft had in progress for Mac IE 5 looked ancient to me. Everything was the MacOS platinum style, shades of gray like cement, with a horde of tiny 16 by 16 pixel toolbar icons (in 4-bit color with a 1 bit mask) most of which had obviously been designed by engineers in a pixel editor like ResEdit.

I had the idea of making our browser chrome match the actual hardware you were on. If your Mac’s bezel was Bondi blue, we’d make our UI Bondi blue. That way our “frame” around the web page would match the bezel and so would be seen as part of the background and be distinct from the content. By being more vivid we would paradoxically blend into the background, and look more at home. […]

I put my idea to the rest of the Mac IE team, and they loved it. […] It rapidly came together and in Summer 1999 we demoed the secret New Look build of Mac IE5 to Steve Jobs, the first person to see it outside Nykris and a few people on the Mac IE team. Steve gave it his enthusiastic approval. Yeah!

So eventually MacWorld January 2000 came along, the venue for unveiling the Mac IE 5 beta. Steve Jobs insisted on doing the Mac IE 5 demo himself. Tnis is where things got a little surprising. Steve first showed a new build of Mac OS X which had a new user interface called “Aqua”. This looked, well, just like the Nykris design we’d been using for half a year at that point.

Chris Thoburn:

It’s awesome that Chrome had this feature, right?

If that last thought was actually your last thought… congrats, you just mentally accepted years of torture doing exactly this to fix the other “most feature rich browsers”… IE6, 7, 8, and 9. …but “Standards!”. Yes, these features are on standards tracks, and thankfully far enough along they aren’t likely to be rejected. But guess what, a lot of IE’s ideas were proposals too, and a lot of them are only just now being accepted as standards today, just under different names and with improved APIs. Being first does not make you the best.

Safari è più lento nell’adottare feature che ancora sono in discussione e devono diventare standard. Chrome, nel frattempo, adotta tutto in un lampo preoccupandosi poco delle prestazioni.

Posto in altri termini: Safari è più preoccupato col soddisfare gli utenti, Chrome col soddisfare gli sviluppatori.