When Microsoft released its new Chromium-based version of Edge, it marked a big shift for the company, and the move is paying off. While the popularity of Microsoft Edge is climbing, Mozilla’s offering has continued to drop.
The stats come via analytics firm NetApplications, from their NetMarketShare website, which publishes usage statistics each month. Mozilla’s Firefox browser has dropped steadily in popularity for the last six months, and currently holds a share of 7.2% of the market. That’s down from 8.9% in September, which is about when Microsoft’s Chromium-based Edge went into public beta. Edge, currently, is sitting at 7.59%, climbing from a low of just 5.4% around that time.
The two questions looming over this are: where is Chrome in all of this, and where’s Internet Explorer? Well, Google Chrome is just lapping everybody six times over with a market share of 68.5%. Internet Explorer, bolstered by the many Windows 7 users out there and by the many corporate users stuck on IE11 due to legacy software, sits at 5.6%. If Mozilla’s trend continues, it could drop even lower than IE11 in the coming year.
Microsoft Edge speeds up
Microsoft’s new Edge browser has been in public beta since last fall, but it finally rolled out as an official release in January. This marked the first time ever that Microsoft had looked outside its own doors for browser tech. Microsoft started the browser wars back in the late 1990s when it faced off against Netscape and got in trouble for anti-competitive practices in the browser space. Mozilla introduced Firefox in 2004, and it rose in popularity until the early 2010s when Chrome joined the fray. Microsoft introduced its first take on Edge alongside Windows 10. The browser used a new rendering engine called EdgeHTML, but the browser never caught on.
With Edge Chromium, Microsoft is adopting the rapid development cycle similar to that of Google Chrome rather than the clunkier releases of previous versions. While the official release hit just a few months ago, Microsoft is promising with its next release substantial new features such as vertical browser tabs–a smart idea in a world of wide-screen monitors and vertically-scrolling websites–a password monitor, and a Smart Copy feature.