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Apple makes Internet browser
for Microsoft-based machines

Apple on Monday launched a new attack on rival Microsoft, unleashing a Safari web browser intended to dethrone market-ruling Internet Explorer (IE) and be the iPhone gateway to the Internet.

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs unveiled Safari versions for Windows XP or Vista operating systems, as he kicked off a Worldwide Developers Conference that the maker of Macintosh computers holds annually in San Francisco.

"We'd like Safari's market share to grow," Jobs said smiling. "We are bringing all the Safari innovations to Windows. What we've got is the most innovative browser in the world and the fastest browser on Windows."

Microsoft's IE browser is on 78 percent of the world's computers while Safari, made exclusively for Apple's Macintosh machines until Monday, has about five percent of the market, Apple said.

Apple will distribute Safari software as part of its iTunes online store that sells music, movies and other content for the company's globally popular iPod MP3 players, according to Jobs.

"This is a great strategic move by Apple that will push their technology further onto the Windows platform," Jupiter Research analyst Michael Gartenberg wrote in posting at his company's website.

Gartenberg said to "expect a response from Redmond," Washington, where technology giant Microsoft is based.

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