What just happened? Despite Microsoft’s efforts, its Edge product was few people's first choice of browser, but the new Chromium-based version is proving much more appealing. According to recent data, Edge has now overtaken Firefox to become the second most popular desktop browser in the world.
NetMarketShare’s March update shows that while Chrome remains the number one browser by a mile with its 68.5 percent share of the market, Edge has moved to second place with 7.59 percent. It’s bad news for Firefox, which has fallen from the number two spot after declining to 7.2 percent. Sitting below Mozilla’s browser is Internet Explorer with 5.87 percent, followed by Safari on 3.62 percent.
With Firefox and Internet Explorer losing users, it’s likely that some have defected to Edge or Chrome, the latter of which also saw its share increase last month, by 1.23 percent.
While Edge's lead over Firefox is minimal, and it did only see a 0.21 percent gain in March, the browser is moving in the right direction, which isn’t too surprising. Microsoft's decision to rebuild Edge with the same Chromium platform used by Chrome, Opera, Vivaldi, and more brought benefits such as compatibility with Chrome extensions, along with improved performance and customization.
For those still not convinced by Edge, Microsoft is adding a slew of new features that could change their minds, including password monitoring and tracking protection, an immersive reader, and vertical tabs & Edge collections.
Microsoft has confirmed that Covid-19 disruption to staff means major new updates to Edge will be put on hold, and it will focus on fixing bugs in the current version. As Google has done with Chrome, Microsoft has canceled version 82 of the Edge browser.