3aIT Blog

Data on a laptopNot too long ago in the grand scheme of things, Firefox was the second biggest internet browser in the world. How times change... Recent stats showing the state of the browser "wars" have been released, and things are not looking great for Mozilla's creation.

Rewinding a little, a while back, Microsoft decided to give up on their own browser engine. Once the kings of the browser world with the middle versions of Internet Explorer, Microsoft had suffered a massive fall from grace here, largely down to both Firefox and Chrome just being better. Soon, the only people left using Internet Explorer were those that had to for work reasons.

Microsoft tried to fix that with a new browser called Edge. This was completely rewritten from scratch and was a big step up in technical terms from Internet Explorer. However, this new browser barely made a dent in the browser usage stats despite being the "default" browser for all Windows 10 machines.

Micosoft eventually decided enough was enough and that if you can't beat them, join them. It therefore completely gutted the code underlying their browser and replaced it with exactly the same code that powers Google's Chrome browser. Therefore, whilst the browser is still called Edge, to all intents and purposes, it is just Chrome with a few different frills round the edges.

This does seem to have improved things a lot for the Redmond firm. A year ago, the stats suggested that around 0.5% of us were using Edge. That has now shot up to 8% in the space of 12 months. This increase comes at the expense of both Chrome (which is still miles out in the lead) and Firefox, which it has just overtaken in the rankings. With a usage jump like that, will Microsoft's browser one day challenge Google's for supramacy again? It seems unlikely right now, but it wouldn't be the first time the company with a de facto monopoly has had their seemingly unassailable lead taken from them.

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