Skip to main content

Microsoft Edge is about to leave a serious rival in its dust

Microsoft Edge
(Image credit: Shutterstock / monticello)

In recent months, Microsoft has thrown everything behind its new, Chromium-based web browser Edge - and it appears to be paying dividends. 

With the enforced retirement of Internet Explorer, Edge is now the company’s indisputable flagship and that status is beginning to be represented in the browser’s market share.

On its current trajectory, according to Statcounter data, Edge will soon overtake established rival Firefox in the rankings, which would be a serious coup for Microsoft.

Although Firefox still currently has a larger overall share (3.98%) than Edge (2.85%), the former’s numbers have remained almost constant for the past twelve months.

Microsoft’s browser, on the other hand, has enjoyed steady growth since April that (if maintained) will see it surpass Mozilla’s service by early 2021.

Microsoft Edge adoption

Microsoft debuted Edge Chromium in January, with the launch of the first stable build. The browser took a few months to gain any momentum, but its growth has steepened significantly since the spring.

At present, Edge is the fastest growing browser on the market, rising from 0.44% market share to 2.85% in the past six months alone - with the greatest leap registered between June and July (+ 0.8%). In each of the past three months, meanwhile, Edge has added circa 0.3% to its share.

The increase in adoption can be attributed in part to renewed marketing efforts, but also to improvements made to the platform that bring it in line with the experience a user might expect from a modern web browser.

Microsoft has delivered a host of new upgrades to the browser in recent months, including a secure password generator, in-built price comparison tool, screenshot capture facility and scrolling tab bar.

The company is also “experimenting” with a new feature - called start-up boost - that could increase the speed with which the browser is able to launch from the Windows 10 desktop or taskbar.

Although Edge is still a minor player in comparison to market leader Chrome (which holds a 66.12% share), Microsoft will be encouraged by its early performance. The main caveat is that the greatest number of users appear to have migrated from Internet Explorer and Edge Legacy, both of which have been retired.

To continue on its current growth trajectory, then, Edge will need to find a way to snatch users from the largest fish in the market: Chrome, Safari and Firefox.