Microsoft Edge Becomes the Second Most Popular Web Browser

Microsoft Edge has now beaten Safari as the second most popular desktop web browser, according to Statcounter. In March, Microsoft Edge had 9.65% desktop marker share, up from 9.61% in February, while Apple’s Safari went from 9.77% to 9.56% in the same time frame.

Obviously, Microsoft Edge was poised to take second place as it comes preinstalled on Windows 10 and Windows 11, and it’s also available on macOS and Linux. Moreover, Microsoft Edge was already the second most popular desktop web browser according to Netmarketshare.

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Google Chrome remains far ahead of the pack with a 67.29% desktop market share on Statcounter in March. Microsoft Edge isn’t going to beat Chrome anytime soon, though both browsers now share the same Chromium engine under the hood, and they’re also on the same 4-week release schedule. Last week, both Microsoft Edge 100 and Google Chrome 100 started rolling out, bringing pretty minor updates despite the change to a three-digit version string.

Microsoft Edge has come a long way since the original version of the web browser made its debut alongside Windows 10 almost seven years ago. The legacy Edge used to be exclusive to Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile, and it only received new features twice a year, which made it impossible to compete with other multiplatform browsers on a much faster release schedule.

Microsoft finally righted the ship by embracing the Chromium open-source project, and Microsoft Edge is now a solid alternative to Google Chrome. In recent months, though, a growing number of Edge users have been complaining about the browser becoming too bloated, and there’s definitely a fine line between adding “nice to have” features and focusing on the basics, including performance and ease of use.

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Conversation 16 comments

  • sherlockholmes

    Premium Member
    04 April, 2022 - 11:05 am

    <p>Why? Because of the many crap it has in it? </p>

  • spacein_vader

    Premium Member
    04 April, 2022 - 11:07 am

    <p>Alternative headline: making it hard to change default apps works. </p>

    • dftf

      04 April, 2022 - 3:38 pm

      <p>They have relented on this in recent <em>Windows 11</em> builds; it’ll go back to one-click, as it is now in <em>Windows 10</em>. Though even with the way it is right-now in <em>Windows 11</em>, uses are clearly managing to work-around it and set other browsers as their default: <em>Edge </em>had an 8% market-share as-of last March; 9.7% as-of this one. <em>W11</em> now accounts for 20% of all <em>Windows </em>installs, as of the recent reporting on here; but clearly, <em>Edge</em> hasn’t also risen by the same amount in that time.</p>

    • ikjadoon

      04 April, 2022 - 9:06 pm

      <p>And making it impossible to change the default browser for 30+ OS-native apps.</p><p><br></p><p>— Widgets <strong><em>forcibly </em></strong>open Edge, not your default browser</p><p>— Search <strong><em>forcibly </em></strong>opens Edge, not your default browser</p><p>— F1 <strong><em>forcibly </em></strong>opens Edge, not your default browser</p><p>— Maps <strong><em>forcibly </em></strong>opens Edge, not your default browser</p><p>— Settings <strong><em>forcibly </em></strong>opens Edge, not your default browser</p><p><br></p><p>It’s incredibly anti-competitive and disgusting behavior. It’s, of course, due to Microsoft spamming the OS with its hardcoded microsoft-edge:// URLs.</p><p><br></p><p><a href="; target="_blank"><strong>Windows now blocks Edge browser competitors from opening links (</strong></a></p><p><br></p><p>&gt;However, these features don’t use regular web links (<code style="background-color: var(–color-code-background);">https://</code&gt;). Instead, they use&nbsp;<code style="background-color: var(–color-code-background);">microsoft-edge://</code>&nbsp;links that only work with the company’s web browser. These links are also featured in other Microsoft apps and are found around the Windows shell. These special links only exist to force users into using Microsoft Edge. They serve no other purpose than to circumvent the user’s default browser preference to promote a Microsoft product.</p><p><br></p><p><strong><em>Not even Apple</em></strong> is this draconian with their browsers on macOS! You change the default and every single bloody URL will open in your default browsers. Doesn’t matter if the URL is in an Apple app or a third-party app.</p>

      • dftf

        05 April, 2022 - 11:45 am

        <p>While I agree Microsoft <em>should</em> make it so the examples you cite should open in the default-browser, it’s silly to compare to macOS market-share-wise. On both <em>iOS</em> and <em>iPadOS</em>, the only rendering-engine <em>Apple</em> permits is <em>WebKit</em>, and all apps and browsers have to use that. Even <em>Firefox</em> on those platforms has to use that engine. And what they can do on-top, such as their own bookmark sync-services, is entirely controlled by what access <em>Apple</em> decides to allow via their APIs.</p><p><br></p><p>Contrast that to <em>Android</em> where, sure, <em>WebView</em> is preinstalled and most apps use it, but they don’t have to. Both <em>Opera Mini</em> and <em>Firefox</em> there use their own rendering-engines, and apps could also ship with their own if they wanted. <em>Mozilla</em> even have a project called "GeckoView", where they are aiming to let you change the default rendering-engine to their own one (though given their current 0.5% market-share on <em>Android</em> phones, and non-existent share on tablets, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear of this being quietly cancelled at some-point). For now, check it out here: <strong></strong></p>

  • vladimir

    Premium Member
    04 April, 2022 - 11:15 am

    <p>I wonder how much this has to do with edge being the default PDF reader in windows. Safari is not the default on the mac</p>

  • rob_segal

    Premium Member
    04 April, 2022 - 12:29 pm

    <p>If you took out the number of people who use Edge because of widgets, the percentage would be 9.64%. Still good for 2nd place.</p>

  • dftf

    04 April, 2022 - 1:21 pm

    <p>Ouch! If you go to the first link Laurent provided, and delete anything past "worldwide" in the URL, you’ll get a line-chart for the last 12 months: <strong><em>Firefox </em></strong>has gone from a 9.5% share on desktop OSes in February, to 7.6% as-of March. I wonder what’s suddenly driven users away — it had been rising since October.</p><p><br></p><p>Massive increase for <strong><em>Google Chrome </em></strong>on desktop OSes, also: 64.9% as-of February, to 67.3% as-of March. Given <strong><em>Edge</em> </strong>hasn’t seen a major-rise in its share since November, this would suggest <em>Firefox</em> users have recently been switching to <em>Chrome</em>. Any takeover or bad-press at <em>Mozilla</em> lately I’m not-aware-of?</p><p><br></p><p>(On <strong>tablets</strong>: <em>Chrome</em> has gone-from 44.4% in September last-year, to 47.6% as-of March; <em>Safari</em> in the same timespan from 41.3% to 38.2%. On <strong>smartphones</strong>, <em>Chrome</em> sits at 63.3%, <em>Safari</em> on 24.9% (from a peak of 26.7% back in January), and <em>Samsung Internet</em> is on 5%. <em>Firefox</em> still accounts for only 0.5%).</p>

    • valisystem

      Premium Member
      04 April, 2022 - 5:29 pm

      <p>Very helpful suggestion! When you look at a year’s worth of data, it’s clear that recent changes are very trivial reshuffling at the very bottom of the market.</p>

  • bschnatt

    04 April, 2022 - 2:38 pm

    <p>I’m surprised Edge doesn’t have a larger marketshare despite the controversies. It’s a really nicely designed, fast browser with a lot of nice features (my favorites being the side tabs, tab groups, collections, read aloud and immersive reader).</p><p><br></p><p>The only thing I’m *still* waiting for is vastly improved bookmarking. The so-called most-recently-used drop-down is painfully limited and frustrating to use. I’ve only been begging browser makers to fix this for a decade or more, and Microsoft actually promised to fix this several months ago. Still waiting!</p>

    • dftf

      04 April, 2022 - 3:32 pm

      <p>I’m with you on the <em>Read Aloud</em> and <em>Immersive Reader</em>. The AI-voices used in the former sound great, far-better than other browsers that rely on the OS’s built-in TTV.</p><p><br></p><p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">I don’t have the resolution to warrant </span><em style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Vertical-Tabs;</em><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"> I generally just bookmark related tabs into a folder, then middle-click to launch them all, rather-than </span><em style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Tab-Groups;</em><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"> and nice to finally find </span><em style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">someone</em><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"> who actually uses the </span><em style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Collections</em><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"> feature! ;)</span></p>

  • nbplopes

    04 April, 2022 - 3:02 pm

    <p>The market share of a default web browser of an OS with 83% market share beats the default browser of an OS with 11% market share. </p><p><br></p><p>Progress …</p>

    • dftf

      04 April, 2022 - 3:47 pm

      <p>True, it’s not like <em>Apple</em> make <em>Safari for Windows</em> anymore; that died in 2012.</p><p><br></p><p>And in-line with <em>Apple</em>’s unofficial support policy of "current version of macOS, plus the two previous ones", <em>Safari</em> is only supported on <em>macOS 10.15 "Catalina" </em>(released October <u>2019</u>)<em> </em>or newer. <em>Edge</em>, on the other-hand, is still supported on <em>Windows 7</em>(!) currently, which was released in October… of <u>2009</u>!</p>

  • ronv42

    Premium Member
    04 April, 2022 - 3:28 pm

    <p>Well when are the bloggers going to update their top 10 things to do after installing windows? #1 used to be "Install Chrome". Isn’t it time they actually tried EDGE and remove Chrome from their lists? </p>

  • ebraiter

    04 April, 2022 - 5:16 pm

    <p>Considering that Safari for the desktop is only available on Macs [unless you are running it in a really old copy in Windows], it is surprising that it has 9% of the browser market.</p><p>However, how does this survey reflect that some people [such as me] use more than one web browsers on a single computer?</p>

  • professorwhiskey

    Premium Member
    05 April, 2022 - 12:40 am

    <p>Forthwith: No browser shall claim to be Cromulent&nbsp;the Second without a keyboard shortcut to pin a tab.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>/halfsarcasm</p>

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