Microsoft Edge Becomes the Second Most Popular Web Browser

Posted on April 4, 2022 by Laurent Giret in Microsoft Edge, Web browsers with 16 Comments

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.

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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Comments (16)

16 responses to “Microsoft Edge Becomes the Second Most Popular Web Browser”

  1. sherlockholmes

    Why? Because of the many crap it has in it?

  2. spacein_vader

    Alternative headline: making it hard to change default apps works.

    • dftf

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

    • ikjadoon

      And making it impossible to change the default browser for 30+ OS-native apps.


      — Widgets forcibly open Edge, not your default browser

      — Search forcibly opens Edge, not your default browser

      — F1 forcibly opens Edge, not your default browser

      — Maps forcibly opens Edge, not your default browser

      — Settings forcibly opens Edge, not your default browser


      It's incredibly anti-competitive and disgusting behavior. It's, of course, due to Microsoft spamming the OS with its hardcoded microsoft-edge:// URLs.


      Windows now blocks Edge browser competitors from opening links (ctrl.blog)


      >However, these features don’t use regular web links (https://). Instead, they use microsoft-edge:// 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.


      Not even Apple 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.

      • dftf

        While I agree Microsoft should 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 iOS and iPadOS, the only rendering-engine Apple permits is WebKit, and all apps and browsers have to use that. Even Firefox 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 Apple decides to allow via their APIs.


        Contrast that to Android where, sure, WebView is preinstalled and most apps use it, but they don't have to. Both Opera Mini and Firefox there use their own rendering-engines, and apps could also ship with their own if they wanted. Mozilla 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 Android 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: mozilla.github.io/geckoview/

  3. vladimir

    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

  4. rob_segal

    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.

  5. dftf

    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: Firefox 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.


    Massive increase for Google Chrome on desktop OSes, also: 64.9% as-of February, to 67.3% as-of March. Given Edge hasn't seen a major-rise in its share since November, this would suggest Firefox users have recently been switching to Chrome. Any takeover or bad-press at Mozilla lately I'm not-aware-of?


    (On tablets: Chrome has gone-from 44.4% in September last-year, to 47.6% as-of March; Safari in the same timespan from 41.3% to 38.2%. On smartphones, Chrome sits at 63.3%, Safari on 24.9% (from a peak of 26.7% back in January), and Samsung Internet is on 5%. Firefox still accounts for only 0.5%).

    • valisystem

      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.

  6. bschnatt

    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).


    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!

    • dftf

      I'm with you on the Read Aloud and Immersive Reader. The AI-voices used in the former sound great, far-better than other browsers that rely on the OS's built-in TTV.


      I don't have the resolution to warrant Vertical-Tabs; I generally just bookmark related tabs into a folder, then middle-click to launch them all, rather-than Tab-Groups; and nice to finally find someone who actually uses the Collections feature! ;)

  7. nbplopes

    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.


    Progress …

    • dftf

      True, it's not like Apple make Safari for Windows anymore; that died in 2012.


      And in-line with Apple's unofficial support policy of "current version of macOS, plus the two previous ones", Safari is only supported on macOS 10.15 "Catalina" (released October 2019) or newer. Edge, on the other-hand, is still supported on Windows 7(!) currently, which was released in October... of 2009!

  8. ronv42

    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?

  9. ebraiter

    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.

    However, how does this survey reflect that some people [such as me] use more than one web browsers on a single computer?

  10. professorwhiskey

    Forthwith: No browser shall claim to be Cromulent the Second without a keyboard shortcut to pin a tab.

     

    /halfsarcasm

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