Surprisingly, people like the new Chromium-based Edge browser.
According to data from NetMarketShare, as reported by Bleeping Computer, Microsoft’s revamped web browser has surpassed Mozilla’s Firefox to take second place for market share in March. NetMarketShare puts Edge at almost 7.6 percent of the global browser market share, just ahead of Firefox’s nearly 7.2 percent.
While the numbers are a far cry from Google Chrome’s 68.5 percent market share, it’s impressive that Edge climbed to second place in the fewer than three months it has been available.
As Engadget points out, it’s not hard to figure out why. For starters, Edge enjoys the position of being the ‘default’ browser for Windows 10. Browsers typically get a boost from being the default as many people just use what’s there and don’t switch out browsers.
However, Microsoft’s old Edge browser also had a poor reputation. Thanks to compatibility issues from running on Microsoft’s own engine, a lack of extensions and overall worse performance, old Edge didn’t get used for much other than downloading other browsers.
What sets the new Edge apart from the old Edge is that Microsoft switched to using the Chromium engine. Chromium is the open-source foundation for Google Chrome, as well as many other browsers like Opera and Brave. The upside to this is that Edge now feels much more like Chrome, and benefits from extension and website compatibility as well.
Unfortunately, there’s also a downside. Web developers are already inclined to build for Chrome because of its massive market share. As more Chromium-based browsers emerge and gain market share, it tightens Chromium’s grip on the web and further discourages development for other browser engines. That means Firefox, which is an excellent, privacy focussed browser, as well as Apple’s Safari, will suffer.