Last Updated: Dec 3, 2019
Browser Wars Taking a New Turn
The first browser war took place in the mid to late 90's. This battle pitted Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator and to a lesser degree, Opera, against each other. Due to a variety of factors, including Microsoft avoiding a potentially devastating judgment in a federal antitrust case, Internet Explorer market share grew to serve roughly 98% of internet users by 2002. The other browsers lagged far behind.
Since the introduction of Google Chrome and several other popular browsers within the last 15 years, Internet Explorer is now officially defunct. While still in legacy use at a few larger companies whom have yet to upgrade, the consumer market has all but completely abandoned IE by this point.
For people who hated Internet Explorer, this came as welcome news. When Microsoft released Edge in 2015 as IE's replacement, we were a little excited. And then promptly let down. The original version of Edge was neither horrible or noteworthy, and never won over users en masse. As a matter of fact, some users hate Edge so much they simply went back to IE. IE's market share of browser usage actually grew 3-4% following the introduction of Edge in 2015.
Even 4 years after it's introduction the browser has never commanded more than 5% market share (see figure below). As Google Chrome's following continues to grow, Microsoft knows they have to do something drastic to get the internet's users back on their platform.
|Browser market share changes June 2015 - Nov 2019 Updated: 12/03/19|
Enter the Chromium-based version of Edge! Instead of completely re-inventing the wheel, Microsoft is taking the basic open-source code that powers Google Chrome and adapting it for their own purposes as they overhaul Microsoft Edge. Long story short, the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge will share a great deal in common with the Google Chrome browser it is competing against. We'll be sure to provide updates via our blog as we learn more about the new version of Edge.
When discussing Edge recently during its Build 2019 conference, Microsoft focused on privacy as well as potentially developing a Mac version of Edge, but we'll just have to wait and see where that goes.