Will Microsoft Edge Overtake Chrome in 2024? Our Thoughts

Will Microsoft Edge Overtake Chrome in 2024? Our Thoughts

Microsoft Edge has been making steady gains in market share since its launch in 2015, leading some to speculate that it could eventually overtake Google Chrome as the most popular web browser. As someone who follows browser market share trends closely, here is my in-depth analysis on whether Microsoft Edge can realistically surpass Chrome within the next couple of years:

Why Chrome Has Been Dominant

Chrome has been the undisputed leader in browser market share for nearly a decade. Here are some of the key factors behind its dominance:

Early Lead

  • Chrome jumped out to an early lead after its launch in 2008 and quickly captured browser market share thanks to Google’s brand name and marketing efforts.

  • Being pre-installed as the default browser on Android devices also helped drive adoption.

Speed and Performance

  • Chrome has consistently been one of the fastest and most responsive browsers. Its streamlined interface and efficient rendering engine provided a smooth browsing experience.

  • Under the hood, the Chromium engine used by Chrome takes full advantage of hardware acceleration and multiple processes to enable faster page loading.

Frequent Updates

  • Google has been releasing new versions of Chrome every 6 weeks on average. This allows regular performance improvements and new features.

  • Seamless auto-updating keeps most Chrome users on the latest version.

Strong Web Standards Support

  • Chrome has been at the forefront of supporting new web technologies like HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript APIs.

  • This made it appealing for web developers who wanted to use the latest standards and capabilities.

Security

  • Chrome’s sandboxing and frequent patches helped it maintain a good security track record that appealed to users.

The Rise of Microsoft Edge

Ever since its launch with Windows 10 in 2015, Microsoft Edge has slowly but steadily gained market share:

| Year | Microsoft Edge Market Share |
|-|-|
| 2016 | 5% |
| 2017 | 11% |
| 2018 | 13% |
| 2019 | 16% |
| 2020 | 20% |

This growth can be attributed to a few key factors:

Integration with Windows

  • As the default browser on Windows devices, Edge enjoys a distribution advantage similar to Chrome on Android.

  • Microsoft has deeply integrated Edge into Windows 10 with features like Timeline and Collections.

Performance Improvements

  • Recent versions of Edge are much faster and more efficient than earlier ones based on Microsoft’s proprietary EdgeHTML engine.

  • The switch to the Chromium engine in 2019 brought Edge on par with Chrome in terms of speed and capability.

Enterprise Appeal

  • IT administrators in corporate environments often prefer Edge over Chrome due to its tight integration with Windows Server and Microsoft ecosystem.

  • Edge also supports IE11 legacy sites and apps that are still common in enterprises.

Promising Roadmap

  • Microsoft has ambitious plans to further improve Edge by building on top of the Chromium engine.

  • Upcoming features like sleeping tabs, vertical tabs, and Collections look promising.

Can Edge Overtake Chrome by 2024?

While Edge has made impressive gains in market share recently, surpassing Chrome within just a couple years seems unlikely considering Chrome’s dominant position. Here are some factors that pose challenges for Edge:

Chrome’s Huge Lead

  • As of 2020, Chrome still has 65% market share globally compared to just 4% for Edge. Closing this massive gap requires overtaking a huge user base.

Android Presence

  • With over 80% market share on mobile, Chrome on Android gives Google an advantage that Edge lacks.

  • Microsoft would likely need to launch a version of Edge for Android to boost mobile usage.

Default Browser Inertia

  • Most people stick to the default browser that comes with their devices and rarely switch. Microsoft needs an effective strategy to get more users to choose Edge as the default.

Brand Recognition

  • Chrome is synonymous with web browsing for many people. Microsoft needs to invest heavily in marketing and branding to build greater familiarity with Edge.

Web Dominance

  • A huge portion of top websites and web apps are designed and tested primarily for Chrome. Edge needs to keep pace with Chrome in terms of web standards support.

The Road Ahead

Given these challenges, I do not foresee Edge overtaking Chrome globally by 2024. However, Edge crossing 30% market share to firmly establish itself as the #2 browser seems achievable.

Microsoft only recently revamped Edge around Chromium, so they need more time to grow its adoption. If Edge continues improving at its current pace, it could potentially give Chrome serious competition in the latter half of the 2020s. But Chrome’s position looks quite secure for now.

As an avid browser watcher, I am excited to see how the browser landscape evolves. The renewed competition from Microsoft is pushing Google to step up their efforts on Chrome. This means faster innovation and better choices for all of us who rely on web browsers as our portal to the digital world. It will be interesting to revisit this analysis in a few years to see if Edge manages to close the gap further and truly threaten Chrome’s dominance.

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