Microsoft launched its Edge browser alongside Windows 10 almost five years ago, but it never gained traction in its original form. That’s why Microsoft took the unexpected step of redesigning Edge from the ground up with a Chromium base. It looks like that gamble has paid off — the latest usage share numbers from NetMarketShare indicate Edge has now surpassed Firefox.
The original Edge with its EdgeHTML engine peaked at 5.2 percent of the global desktop browser market. That beat out smaller players like Opera, Yandex, and even Safari. However, Chrome was way out in front, and Firefox was holding at almost 10 percent. Microsoft moved fast to get the new Edge up and running after it made the announcement, launching the browser in early 2020. Edge was available for download in January, and the company continues to roll it out in Windows updates across the globe.
Simply getting the software on PCs doesn’t mean people will use it, of course. Yet, a surprising number of people have been giving it a shot. According to the latest stats, Microsoft’s 5.2 percent Edge share (March 2019) has grown to 7.59 percent today. Meanwhile, Firefox has been slipping over the past year from 9.27 percent to just 7.19 percent now. That puts Edge just 0.4 percent ahead of Firefox, but that’s still an impressive improvement for Microsoft.
Edge still has a long way to go before Google needs to be concerned. Chrome is still far in the lean with 68.5 percent of the desktop browser market. Although, people are still using Internet Explorer 11. When you add in that browser’s share, Microsoft has 13.19 percent of the market total. As it rolls out the new Edge in Windows, at least some users will switch from their current browsers. Chromium Edge also works on more operating systems, which is sure to boost usage numbers as the old Edge was only for Windows 10. Better extension support is a big selling point, too.
Even if Edge does continue to grow at the expense of other browsers, Google doesn’t necessarily have to worry. It’s still using the Chromium open source code, most of which comes from Google. Developers will be disinclined to optimize sites and services for competing browser engines when Chromium is becoming more popular than ever.
- Google Warns Edge Users Who Install Extensions From Its Web Store
- Microsoft Contributes New Tab Management Features to Chromium Project
- Microsoft Releases First Chromium Edge Browser Beta