Apple has released its first full-release version of its "turbo-charged" browser for OS X, Safari. The application is available for download now.

The company revealed that Safari has been downloaded nearly five million times since its initial release in January. The company also revealed the browser will be the default browser on all newly introduced Macs, replacing Microsoft's Internet Explorer, development of which Microsoft announced it had stopped last week.

Apple has also released a software development kit that lets developers embed Safari's rendering engine within their own applications.

The full-release version of Safari maintains all the existing innovations within the application. These include: built-in Google search; SnapBack - a facility that lets users instantly return to search results; an easy-to-navigate way of managing Bookmarks; tabbed browsing; and the capacity to automatically block annoying pop-up ads.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs talked the talk at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco: Safari has reinvigorated the browser market with innovative features that deliver the best browsing experience on any platform. "Every Mac user should download Safari today and join the millions already using it."

Intelligent design "Safari has become the pre-eminent Web browser at the Mac Publications Web sites which see more than two million visitors a month," said Rick LePage, president of Mac Publishing.

"Representing more than 40 per cent of the browsers hitting our sites, Safari has overtaken the long-time leader, Internet Explorer. This is an amazing achievement for a brand-new browser - overtaking the market leader in less than six months - and a testament to Safari's intelligent design and innovative feature set."

Macromedia president of products Norm Meyrowitz said: "Macromedia is committed to helping developers create and deliver the best digital experience possible, and Safari's HTML engine is a great step forward for the Mac developer community. It will give developers the speed and comprehensive Internet standards support they need for great rendering within their applications."

King Konqueror Safari is based on a rendering engine from the Konqueror open-source project and its developer community, with which Apple will continue to work closely, sharing its ongoing optimizations to the underlying code.

Safari 1.0 is available now as a free download. It requires Mac OS X 10.2, and is optimized for OS 10.2.3.

Safari 1.0 is localized for English, Japanese, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Brazilian Portuguese, French Canadian, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Swedish, Korean and Simplified Chinese.