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Edge browser fails to win over Windows 10 users

Gregg Keizer | Aug. 18, 2015
Microsoft's new Edge browser is being used by a minority of those running Windows 10 -- between one-sixth and one-third -- according to data from a pair of analytics vendors.

Microsoft Edge running in dark mode on Windows 10 build
Microsoft Edge running in dark mode on Windows 10 build 10158. Credit:Microsoft

Microsoft's new Edge browser is being used by a minority of those running Windows 10 -- between one-sixth and one-third -- according to data from a pair of analytics vendors.

The early returns on Edge not only hint at Microsoft's failure to get the earliest adopters to rely on the new browser, but also question Mozilla's contention that Windows 10's setup will result in defections from its own Firefox, or by association, other non-Microsoft browsers.

During July, Edge accounted for just 0.14 percent of all browsers tracked by California-based Net Applications. With Windows 10's user share standing at 0.39 percent for July -- and because Edge works only on Windows 10 -- the browser was run by about 36 percent of its potential users (0.14 percent divided by 0.39 percent).

Net Applications measures user share using visitor tallies to its customers' websites. The result is a rough estimate of the percentage of the world's online users who run a specific browser.

Data from StatCounter, an Irish metrics vendor, also showed that Edge was far from the universal browser of choice among people who have upgraded to Windows 10.

Over the first 16 days of August, Edge's global average daily usage share was 0.7 percent, far below the 4.4 percent average daily share of Windows 10. In other words, StatCounter pegged Edge as accounting for about 16 percent of the online activity of all Windows 10 owners.

Unlike Net Applications, StatCounter estimates usage share by tallying page views, generating a signal of activity rather than users.

It was impossible to determine which browsers were run on Windows 10 in place of Edge, as neither Net Applications or StatCounter break out their public data on browsers by operating system. The fractions that may have run Google's Chrome on Windows 10, for example, were masked by the fact that the browser also operates on more widespread operating systems, such as Microsoft's Windows 7 or even Apple's OS X.

(Again, the only reason why Edge's portion of the Windows 10 user base can be calculated is because Edge is exclusive to Windows 10. In the same way, the portion of Mac owners who run Safari, a browser exclusive to OS X on personal computers, can be estimated. Net Applications put Safari's user share at 5.1 percent, compared to OS X's 7.7 percent, meaning that about 66 percent of all Mac users run Safari as their primary browser.)

The low percentages of Windows 10 users currently running Edge signaled that Microsoft has not made its case for the new browser, at least among those who have jumped on the OS and its free upgrade. That's troubling, since Microsoft has positioned Edge as its browser of the future, and put in considerable effort to making it more compliant with standards, while relegating Internet Explorer (IE) in general, IE11 specifically, to a legacy support position.

 

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