Edge Browser Flop Claims Likely Premature

John Lister's picture

Figures for August have led one site to suggest that Microsoft's new Edge browser is not that widely used. However, the difficulty of calculating such figures means it is far too early to call it a bust.

The figures come from Statcounter, which is a professional service for website owners which tracks web visitors. As well as giving individual sites details of their visitors, Statcounter collates the data from all of its customers to come up with estimates for web use as a whole. It believes the number and variety of sites it tracks makes this a reasonably accurate estimate.

Edge Figures Nowhere To Be Seen

Software website Softpedia has noted that for August 2015, Statcounter doesn't list Edge in its results. That could have two explanations. One is that the proportion of people using Edge is so low as to be lumped in with the "other browser" category, in which case fewer than 0.94 percent of visitors measured might be using it. (Source: softpedia.com)

The other possibility is that Edge has been included as part of the Internet Explorer figures. That is most likely not the case, however. Edge a completely different browser than Internet Explorer and is reported as such, plus the Statcounter website is able to track and categorize individual editions of Internet Explorer, rather than counting them as one category.

On the face of it, this sounds like bad news for Microsoft and implies few people on Windows 10 are bothering with the new browser. However, with all the hype over Windows 10, it's easy to forget perspective.

Windows 10 Still A Niche Product

It's estimated that 3.195 billion or so people have Internet access, according to the Internet Live Stats site. Meanwhile, ComScore reports that in the US only 11.3 percent of people get online solely through mobile devices. Taking into account that this proportion is higher in poorer nations, it seems a safe bet that at least 2.5 billion desktop computers are running web browsers. (Source: internetlivestats.com)

Given that Microsoft recently reported 75 million downloads for Windows 10, even if every single Windows 10 user had switched to Edge, it would only have a 0.03 percent share - something that's perfectly possible with the Statcounter figures (however unlikely in reality).

The only way we'll have a better clue is when firms such as Statcounter cross-reference their statistics to specifically report browser usage among Windows 10 users. That may be some time, as the numbers involved right now are comparatively so small that the margin of error in Statcounter's research method would make any conclusions unreliable.

What's Your Opinion?

Have you tried the Edge browser? Do you think it's likely to become the first choice of most Windows 10 customers? Or are people who've jumped ship to Chrome or Firefox unlikely to even give it a chance?

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Average: 4.2 (6 votes)


Dennis Faas's picture

I've tried Edge and it seems pretty quick, but its interface also seems a little too optimized for mobile browsing on a desktop - which I'm sure will only deter users.

With that said, I've been using Firefox since Windows XP days and don't plan on switching any time soon. I have Firefox customized exactly how I want it with specific plugins - such as Tabs Group Helper, which is an amazingly useful plugin that can group tabs into categories, and which also doesn't seem to be available on other platforms.

dan_2160's picture

Be careful Dennis. If you're going to keep rationally analyzing this information, you're going to be way out of step with the rest of the IT press which is generally as irrational as most media these days. Placing information within the proper context is something that is largely missing in action throughout the reporting industry these days, especially reporting on computer-related issues.

Seriously, though, I certainly appreciate your thoughtfulness in this article (and others). I can't wait to see how many others in the IT press make the error of suggesting that the Edge browser is a flop when there are, relatively speaking, so few copies of it on computers today.

I suspect that use of Edge is even lower among the first converts to Windows 10 who, I strongly suspect (but don't know for sure), are likely to be the more adventurous and advanced PC users whose primary browser is likely something other than Internet Explorer and are unlikely to quickly replace it with Edge right away.

Keep up the good work.

swreynolds's picture

I tried the Edge browser when I installed Windows 10. My first response was "is this a different browser?" It sure didn't seem any different than IE. So Edge was useful to get me Chrome. I don't use it any more.

jrr147_5324's picture

Like everyone who updated to Win 10 (and MS should apologize for that) I got stuck with the Edge Browser. Been using it since it's public release and have to say, in one word, It SUCKS!

Why do I say this, and how does it suck...Right clicking offers a menu of three choices, none of which are applicable to my needs. Also, it creates problems when responding on line...locks up after just a couple of letters making replies like this horrendously tedious.

So sir, if you know how I can replace Edge with the reliable IE 11 please tell me. Also, if you can explain how to set-up Win 10 so it can be a useful tool and not some gimmick for a cell phone, please do so post haste. Because, I am 1/2 this close to giving MS the "3-finger salute".

Best regards...Jim

nospam_5346's picture

Jim, you can just go in and make IE11 your default browser. It's there, you just have to find it and create a shortcut for it.

As for making Win 10 useful, I'm not so sure, but even though I don't intend to use it I upgraded a spare Windows 7 installation I had so I can dual boot with Win 7. I have searched for tweaks and have it set up pretty much like my Win 7 which is set up like my Win XP. You can get Classic Shell for Windows and do a lot of tweaks. Turn off everything you can find in the settings. Put tabs back on the taskbar and get rid of the icons. Create a quick launch bar. Turn off Cortana (although it still loads in memory and uses about 37 megabytes of ram and if you kill it, it respawns in a second or two). Stop all the live tiles and uninstall those you can and then unpin the rest and collapse the right pane.

Yeah, all those dumb apps that you will never use are still there using resources you paid for and will never use, but the functionality is very much like Win 7. I wish MS would let us decide what apps we want and what we don't and allow us to uninstall them all. I don't want Bing anything nor Cortana nor Zune music or any of the other phone apps. And that is why I won't use it until I absolutely have to.

gilvoice's picture

I most be one lucky guy. Edge works as advertised for me. I have it on five machines with no problems. I also have IE 11 installed and use it on occasion.

I believe the one caveat I should mention is I only allow Microsoft products on my computers that run the windows O.S. with the lone exceptions of QuickBooks.

I for the life of me don't understand why a person would install a product in a windows O.S. when the people who make that product are trying their best to defeat Microsoft's operating system and/or software.

Have a Great day

spiras's picture

I tried Edge a few times, but feel it's still an unfinished product. Yes, it has a few nice new features/gimmicks, but it also lacks some of the basic features for which I was using IE11.

Some examples:
- Lack of hierarchy in Favorites. There's no "tree" of folders and subfolders. For me that just won't work.
- Lack of Accelerators (right-click): this was a beautiful time-saving feature in IE, which has now been scrapped in favor of Cortana. But when I try Cortana I get an obscure and ridiculous error message about no internet connectivity.

As usual, Microsoft in its haste is releasing semi-developed things to market, hoping that users will be "forgiving". Well they won't.

robhp's picture

Many people appear to love minimalistic 'clean' browsers
I instead, would like to have menus showing.
Is that possible with 'Edge' browser ?


kitekrazy's picture

I like having File Edit View in my browsers. I still use Fire Fox and Chrome because Fire Fox doesn't always work with Flash. I don't touch IE anymore because the clueless at MS think people like that pop up in the bottom every time it opens. Oddly enough since I started using Chrome I've gotten minor malware.