Firefox’s popularity falls further as Microsoft Edge becomes second most popular web browser after Chrome

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft’s new version of Edge is now the second most popular desktop browser in the world behind Google Chrome, according to the latest figures from one analytics firm.

NetMarketShare’s statistics for March show that Chrome is still the top dog by a long way, of course, with a market share of 68.5% of desktop browser users, but Microsoft Edge has moved up into second place with 7.59%.

That means it has now overtaken Firefox, pushing Mozilla’s browser back into third place on 7.19%. Internet Explorer is in fourth position on 5.87%, with Safari behind that on 3.62%.

Firefox dropped from 7.57% last month, losing 0.38% market share, so it’s possible that this downward movement involved some Edge defectors. Although Internet Explorer dropped further, so the additional users for Edge could have come from Microsoft’s other browser.

Going up in the world

Edge gained 0.21% in March, so not a massive uptick, but still upward movement nonetheless – and to see it secure second place and overtake Firefox is obviously a major milestone, particularly when you consider that the old (non-Chromium) Edge was dwindling away at the bottom of the browser league before Microsoft revamped it.

Edge doing well won’t really be a surprise if you’ve been following the reaction the new browser has received online, which is generally pretty favorable, and we were certainly impressed in our review. We felt Chromium-powered Edge boasts impressive levels of customization and performance, and of course much better all-round-compatibility with websites than the previous Edge.

It’s now a strong contender, in other words, not to mention available across multiple platforms (instead of being Windows 10-only, as it was before). So even though there’s a long way to go, perhaps Google will now be sitting up and taking notice; if not being unduly worried yet.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).