Microsoft Edge is about to leave a serious rival in its dust

Microsoft Edge
(Image credit: Shutterstock / monticello)
Audio player loading…

In recent months, Microsoft (opens in new tab) has thrown everything behind its new, Chromium-based web browser Edge (opens in new tab) - and it appears to be paying dividends. 

With the enforced retirement of Internet Explorer (opens in new tab), Edge is now the company’s indisputable flagship and that status is beginning to be represented in the browser’s market share.

On its current trajectory, according to Statcounter (opens in new tab) data, Edge will soon overtake established rival Firefox in the rankings, which would be a serious coup for Microsoft.

  • Check out our list of the best VPN (opens in new tab) services out there
  • We've built a list of the best Windows 10 VPN (opens in new tab) services around
  • Here's our choice of the best proxy (opens in new tab) services on the market

Although Firefox (opens in new tab) still currently has a larger overall share (3.98%) than Edge (2.85%), the former’s numbers have remained almost constant for the past twelve months.

Microsoft’s browser, on the other hand, has enjoyed steady growth since April that (if maintained) will see it surpass Mozilla’s service by early 2021.

Microsoft Edge adoption

Microsoft debuted Edge Chromium in January, with the launch of the first stable build. The browser took a few months to gain any momentum, but its growth has steepened significantly since the spring.

At present, Edge is the fastest growing browser on the market, rising from 0.44% market share to 2.85% in the past six months alone - with the greatest leap registered between June and July (+ 0.8%). In each of the past three months, meanwhile, Edge has added circa 0.3% to its share.

The increase in adoption can be attributed in part to renewed marketing efforts, but also to improvements made to the platform that bring it in line with the experience a user might expect from a modern web browser.

Microsoft has delivered a host of new upgrades to the browser in recent months, including a secure password generator (opens in new tab), in-built price comparison tool (opens in new tab), screenshot capture facility (opens in new tab) and scrolling tab bar (opens in new tab).

The company is also “experimenting” with a new feature - called start-up boost (opens in new tab) - that could increase the speed with which the browser is able to launch from the Windows 10 desktop or taskbar.

Although Edge is still a minor player in comparison to market leader Chrome (which holds a 66.12% share), Microsoft will be encouraged by its early performance. The main caveat is that the greatest number of users appear to have migrated from Internet Explorer and Edge Legacy, both of which have been retired.

To continue on its current growth trajectory, then, Edge will need to find a way to snatch users from the largest fish in the market: Chrome, Safari and Firefox.

Joel Khalili
News and Features Editor

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.