3aIT Blog

Data charts open in a web browserThe latest figures from the browser measuring team at Statcounter has revealed that Microsoft's previously unloved Edge browser is now beginning to gain some traction - on desktop machines at least. It has now overtaken Safari as the second most popular browser. Usage is now estimated to be about 13% of all traffic. Miles behind Google's Chrome browser, naturally, but there are signs of a very slow turnaround here for Microsoft.

Of course, what this hides somewhat is, as we've mentioned before, Edge is now effectively identical to Chrome under the hood. Microsoft ditched their own browser engine and switched to Chromium a while ago - the same engine that powers Chrome and is largely written by Google.

Still, that does then beg the question "why not use Edge"? Certainly for Windows users that have Edge preinstalled on their machines, the main reason for choosing to use Chrome instead now is largely just habit. There are no websites that won't work equally well in both browsers as they're now the same in all the areas that matter.

Things get even more interesting when looking at what Edge does that Chrome doesn't. As we mentioned a while back, Edge now includes a full version of Adobe PDF reader, meaning there's no reason to install that separately if you use Edge to open your PDF files. Microsoft have also been integrating other 365 services into the browser in useful ways. If you open a link in an Outlook email or in Teams, Edge can display that email or conversation in a browser sidebar so you can refer to it while you're looking at the link that's been sent rather than having to flip between the two applications.

It isn't impossible that this will also have an impact on Bing searches if this trend continues, as this is the default search engine in Edge (although this can easily be changed to Google). It's worth highlighting that this is very much a desktop-only trend at the moment. Despite the fact that Edge is now available on pretty much every operating system and every device, it barely even registers when looking at mobile traffic.

For what it's worth, I've been using Edge exclusively for a few months now and have no complaints. Certainly for people that just use Chrome out of habit, there's a lot to recommend with Edge now. Your mileage may vary if you're not predominantly a Windows / 365 user.