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Top web browsers 2020: Edge makes double digits


Microsoft’s Edge last month posted its first ever double-digit browser share, while Google’s Chrome slid for the third month straight.

Mozilla’s Firefox once again held steady, keeping its head above water.

According to data published Sunday by California-based metrics company Net Applications, Edge’s October share climbed by 1.4 percentage points, ending the month at 10.2%, the first time Microsoft’s browser broke through that psychologically important barrier. The gain was the largest ever for Edge in a single month, almost double that of the previous record set in December 2019.

The increase was so large that it immediately raised suspicions that it was a miscount by Net Applications rather than a reflection of reality. Bolstering that was an even greater boost to the share of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE), the obsolete browser the Redmond, Wash. company has started to strip of some of its support. IE’s share for October — 5.6% — was 1.7 points higher than the month prior, a jump so out of character as to be unbelievable.

Edge’s gain was understandable, at least. Microsoft relaunched that 2015 browser earlier this year when it recast Edge with the Google-dominated Chromium technology, the same that powers Chrome. Not only did Microsoft make Edge a Chrome copy, but it also expanded support to versions of Windows other than 10, as well as macOS and, more recently, Linux.

Since January, Edge has slowly been adding share; 3.2 points since the Chromium-based Edge went final in the Stable channel. In the past 12 months, Edge has gained 4.1 percentage points, for an average of a third of a point per month.

At that pace, Edge should sit at almost 11% by year’s end and at 15% by December 2021. Of course, that assumes Edge can maintain growth, which in turn requires one or more rivals continues to give up share.

The most likely loser? Chrome, mostly because of its titanic share but also because Edge is, well, Chrome wearing a different outfit.


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