Browser wars: Has Microsoft Edge completely lost its way?

Microsoft Edge is struggling to catch up with the leaders of the Web browser market, suggests the latest data.

According to The figures from Statcounter, recently updated to include stats from April, Microsoft Edge has lost or failed to gain market share in four of the past six months.

Currently, Microsoft’s flagship browser has a market share of 4.05% (on desktop and mobile platforms), which equates to around 200 million users. Although Edge now has a lead over Firefox (3.41%), its market share is far behind Google Chrome (64.34%) and Apple’s Safari (19.16%).

The stagnation of Microsoft Edge

Since its (re-)launch in January 2020, the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge has been widely well received, thanks to a series of upgrades that have modernized the user experience.

The browser’s market share grew rapidly in its first year, thanks in part to new marketing efforts and the retirement of Internet Explorer and Edge Legacy (whose Microsoft users were careful to head to its new flagship).

However, with few gains to be made here, the rise of Microsoft Edge appears to have stalled, despite the company’s continued efforts to make improvements to the service.

In recent weeks, for example, Microsoft unveiled a vpn– as a service for Edge, improvements for the integrated password manager and new integrations designed to help users diagnose performance issues.

One possible explanation for the slowing adoption is that attitudes towards Edge have deteriorated somewhat in light of Microsoft’s attempts to force Windows users to adopt the service.

Last summer it emerged that the company had made it much more difficult to change the default web browser in Windows 11, and in November it was found that Microsoft was forcing links opened through its own services to launch in Edge. . The backlash against these changes was significant, ultimately forcing Microsoft to embarrassing retirement.

Alternatively, the growing popularity of privacy-centric browsers the likes of Brave and DuckDuckGo – touted as an antidote to Big Tech’s ills – could make life harder for Microsoft. The latest numbers suggest that Brave’s browser now has around 1% of the market.

But whatever the reason for Edge’s stagnation, Microsoft will need to find a way to revitalize its browser soon, if its challenging ambitions for a spot at the top of the market are to be realized.

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