What just happened? Remember when Edge was viewed with disdain by pretty much everyone and held a tiny percentage of the browser market? Things started to turn in Microsoft’s favor once it became Chromium-based in 2019. Now, Edge has passed a significant milestone: it has surpassed Safari to become the second most popular desktop browser in the world.
Statcounter’s data shows that Edge’s user share just managed to squeeze past Safari in March. Microsoft’s browser has jumped from 9.61% in February and now stands at 9.65%, while Apple’s product fell from 9.77% to 9.57% during the same period.
We already knew that Edge looked set to replace Safari as the number two desktop browser, given the trends we’ve witnessed over the last year or so—in January 2021, Safari had 10.38 percent of the market compared to Edge’s 7.81, but twelve months later, that difference was just 0.30%.
Microsoft has pushed hard, often in unethical ways, to get more people onto the Edge. If users missed their single chance to commit to a new program, switching over to a different default browser in Windows 11 had been an arduous process. However, Microsoft did roll out an optional update recently that made switching as simple as clicking a button. There were also the shade-throwing popups it used whenever someone visited the Chrome download page while on Edge.
It’s worth remembering that the various market research companies use different data gathering methods. Netmarketshare, for example, has had Edge in the number two spot for over a year.
But it goes without saying that Chrome dominates everyone’s charts. Almost three-quarters of desktop users prefer Google’s offering, and it’s unlikely to be challenged anytime soon. Internet Explorer, meanwhile, is still used by 1% – 3% of those on desktop, despite Microsoft recently reminding people that it’s being killed off on June 15.