Despite the growing ubiquity of competitors like Chrome in the past few years, Microsoft has been trying to shift more users to adopt Edge as their primary browser. Edge was launched along with Windows 10, back in 2015, replacing the venerable Internet Explorer as the default browser for Windows. While Microsoft retained Internet Explorer’s logo to ensure branding consistency for its browsers, Edge was built from the ground up as a new browser with a new web engine.
Most consumers can probably remember the days when Internet Explorer used to be the dominant browser. The application launched slowly, and the user interface was clunky and not very user-friendly – sparking a full range of internet memes. This led to the rapid rise of Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, with both coming to dominate the web browser wars in the early 2010s, leaving Microsoft with a less than 10% market share of the browser market. Edge was built to address this problem, with Microsoft attempting to claw back some of the market share it lost.
In June 2016, Microsoft decided to open a new front in the war for browser dominance. It released a short video comparing the impact that different browsers had on laptop battery life. Back then, Edge outlasted Chrome, the most popular browser, by over 3 hours. That was a 70% difference in battery life, making Edge the most efficient browser on the market. Google took this new front in the browser wars seriously and had worked on greatly improving the efficiency of Chrome. By April last year, it had cut Edge’s advantage over Chrome to just 35%, and in a video released after the latest major Windows 10 update last month, Edge’s advantage lay at just 14%.
This represents quite a significant shift in the ever-continuing war for greater browser market share. While Microsoft’s advertising campaign promoting the efficiency of Edge may have caused laptop users to move to Edge, it never got Edge’s market share to cross beyond 10%. Now, with this advantage greatly removed, it would be interesting to see how Microsoft changes it tactics or implements new features to get more users on board the Edge bandwagon.