On June 15, 2022, Microsoft will officially retire Internet Explorer after over 25 years of existence. This is a natural continuation of Microsoft’s strategy as they launched Edge, their new browser with Windows 10, to slowly replace IE and compete with modern browsers like Chrome or Firefox. Is Edge a contender to Google Chrome, or will the threat come from another company?
Mozilla's Firefox: Privacy Matters
Before Edge launched, Firefox was the leading contender for Google Chrome; in 2009, it had 31.56% of the market share but has seen a significant and steady drop in its user count since.
Mozilla's focus is to provide solid security and privacy features. In order to do so, they guarantee independence from large data-mining vendors and an ad-free reading mode. Also, Mozilla offers a lot of customization within Firefox and a download protection system.
Given all that information, Firefox should be the leader since it clearly is the best browser in terms of key features offered. Unfortunately, that's not how it works, and Google has some major aces under their sleeves.
Chrome, The Giant
The behemoth Google slowly integrated its many services into our daily lives, and Chrome is no exception. By allowing users to link their Google account (i.e. Youtube accounts, which is the biggest content creation platform to date), they made this browser a go-to for many users, with centralized features accessible on any device, including Android smartphones. Whether you use it to read articles, look up facts or seek entertainment on Netflix, Steam or on a Pay n Play site, you are part of the estimated 3.04 billion people using it.
As of 2021, Chrome has 63.58% of all market shares across all devices.
Edge, Microsoft's new hope
With Windows 10, Microsoft launched its new browser and had it pre-installed Edge. Its introduction strategy is similar to Internet Explorer back in the day, which was also pre-installed.
In January 2020, it became fully chromium-based in its "Stable' release. This release includes and improves on key features such as:
the possibility to install extensions, a safe browsing mode for your children, data sync and integration of customized functions on Apple's Touch Bar.
Microsoft also addressed one of the biggest complaints of Internet Explorer, speed, which had become a meme to make fun of IE. Edge on its newest version is faster than Chrome and Firefox (Average score of: 125.63 paged ran per minute; against 105.17 for Chrome and 92.1 for Firefox). In August 2021, Edge had 3.56% of the market share, placing it second just above Firefox.
Chrome is the leader in the market by a large margin, and Edge is trying to play catch-up. Even though recent problems with Chrome's data leakage scandals may have given more market shares to browsers like Firefox or Brave, which are promoting a focus on security and data privacy, it was a small percentage of users. In fact, Firefox has been steadily losing users since 2009.