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Apple releases Safari 4 public beta

New browser is said to execute JavaScript 30 times faster than Internet Explorer 7

Apple has released the beta version of its latest Safari 4 browser to the public as a free download.

The slick browser has a total of 150 features. These include a full history search that allows users to search through titles, web addresses and the complete text of recently viewed pages, full page zoom, phishing and malware protection, and more.

Most remarkable is the claim that the new Nitro engine in Safari 4 can execute JavaScript up to 30 times faster than Microsoft’s IE 7 and more than three times faster than Mozilla’s Firefox 3.

"Apple created Safari to bring innovation, speed and open standards back into web browsers, and today it takes another big step forward," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing.

"Safari 4 is the fastest and most efficient browser for Mac and Windows, with great integration of HTML 5 and CSS 3 web standards that enables the next generation of interactive web applications," added Schiller.

The public beta can be downloaded for free at www.apple.com/safari