Windows 10 Pushes Microsoft’s Browser Strategy to the Edge (Premium)

With the introduction of Windows 10, Microsoft announced a new browser called Edge with the hope of taking back the momentum in the browser wars. The idea was that Internet Explorer had significant baggage attached to it for being outdated and was an underperforming tool of yesterday that wasn’t fit for the modern web.

Regardless if the above is true about Internet Explorer or not, the brand was tarnished and Microsoft decided to reboot with Edge, a modern browser for the modern web.  When Edge launched, as history has already written, it lacked features that consumers wanted and was not Microsoft’s best-foot-forward when introducing a new brand to consumers. With Microsoft stating that Windows 10 has over 400 million users of the OS and seeing that Edge is the default option for browsing the web, it would make sense that Edge would grow quickly in usage share along side the OS but the truth is far different.

When we take a look at the usage statistics from Net Marketshare, which gives us the best look at the browser-marketplace that is freely available, it paints a bleak picture for Edge and shows that Chrome is eating Microsoft’s lunch.

It’s important to know that Net Marketshare’s data is not perfect but it is the best data we have for this type of analysis. And while you should not securitize over single percentage point differences, what this data is good for is showing trends in the industry.

Using year-end data for 2015, Edge obtained a market share of 2.79% and at the end of 2016, it climbed to 5.33%. But, Chrome, which had a market share of 32.33% at the end of 2015 now commands 56.43% of the market.

It’s clear that Chrome had a significant year of growth in 2016 but if you are thinking IE usage must be where the majority of Microsoft’s market share resides, think again. During the same period, Internet Explorer dropped from 46.32% in 2015 to 20.84% at the end of 2016.

The data is clear, Microsoft’s losing the browser battle to Chrome. During the same period, Firefox remained stable around 12%, same goes for Opera around 1.5% but Safari did drop from 4.49%  to 3.4%.

What we are seeing is that users who are upgrading to Windows 10 are not staying with Edge once they move to the new OS. We have already seen Microsoft, several times, promote Edge aggressively inside and outside of Windows 10; it’s clear that they can see users jumping ship and are trying to put a few additional notifications in the way in an attempt to stop them from downloading or using Google’s browser.

The implications here are quite large as more applications move to operating inside the browser. With everything from Office apps to ERP solutions only needing a browser, the need for the underlying OS to be Windows is less important. Additionally, with web-based applications, the security can reside in the web service and not on the desktop, which is another blow to Microsoft’s Windows licensing model.

Yes, I know ...

Gain unlimited access to Premium articles.

With technology shaping our everyday lives, how could we not dig deeper?

Thurrott Premium delivers an honest and thorough perspective about the technologies we use and rely on everyday. Discover deeper content as a Premium member.

Tagged with

Share post

Please check our Community Guidelines before commenting

Windows Intelligence In Your Inbox

Sign up for our new free newsletter to get three time-saving tips each Friday

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Thurrott © 2024 Thurrott LLC