Browser wars: Microsoft Edge continues race against Safari for second place

Microsoft Edge
Microsoft Edge (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft Edge has made serious gains in desktop browser market share over the past few months.
  • Said gains have slowed, but Edge is still inching toward overtaking Safari in market share.
  • Safari has been on a mild decline since December 2020.

As told by Statcounter, Microsoft Edge is still on track to dethrone Safari as the number-two desktop browser — eventually, on the condition that current trends continue. The data from June 2021 shows that Safari currently controls 9.7% of desktop browser market share, whereas Edge is at 8.1%. Back in March 2021, Edge was at 8.03%, and Safari was at 10.11%.

These gains and losses are small potatoes relative to both browsers' previous spikes and dips, but they're steady trends. Since December 2020, Safari has been losing fractions of percents of market share, while Microsoft has been inching its way past the 8% mark since February 2021. The latter's progress is slow, and the former's decline isn't happening much faster, but the charts don't lie: The future intersection of the two browsers' lines on Statcounter's infographic is coming up, should the current trends continue.

If you're a fan of Microsoft and want to see Edge become the silver medalist, this is a big deal. However, if you're of the mindset that only first place matters, then don't get your hopes up for any miracles regarding Edge's would-be desktop conquest. Chrome remains the dominant browser on desktops by a massive margin, currently controlling 68.76% market share as of June 2021. Though Chrome occasionally dips below or rises above that percentage, it rarely strays too far from it, reasserting that the browser is at no immediate risk of succumbing to Edge's 8.1%.

With that being said, Edge does have Chrome matched or beat in quite a few ways from a functionality standpoint. Have you seen its Tab Groups or website sharing features?

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to robert.carnevale@futurenet.com.

14 Comments
  • Safari extension support seems to be very mediocre since I've tried installing any adblocker on multiple Apple computers owned by my mother yet it refuses to work... It's so bad that she prefers Firefox over Safari (which is fine).
  • AdBlock has always installed and run well for me on desktop Safari.
  • It's very strange, I've been trying to figure out this issue, but literally every adblock extension has this issue on Desktop Safari...
  • Don't worry, Apple will invent the desktop browser soon enough. Maybe right after the notchless phone.
  • Not compare with Safari when you have Chrome on Ios.
  • Ever since Microsoft Edge has switched to Chromium, it has been my daily driver on my PC. It is not as memory intensive as Google Chrome and yet still supports all the extensions and themes from Chrome. However, due to Microsoft's reputation with Internet Explorer, I do not think Microsoft Edge will become dominate in the browser market. Most users still have that unsettling taste from IE and always will. But it is nice to see that Microsoft is stepping in the right direction with this browser.
  • The important thing is education. I work in IT and I have my entire staff set up to ditch Chrome by September. In addition, when I'm talking tech with people or fixing computers, I always tell them to use Microsoft Edge and don't use Chrome. It's been working so well once they see the difference between the two.
  • Yes, that's the thing the tech people can say to normal people. Whenever any person complaining about issues on their PC, like slowing down, hanging, I always tell them first thing to do is uninstall Chrome and stop any unnecessary startup program and start using Edge which is the same but better than Chrome.
  • Microsoft's bad reputation with IE, while well deserved, is irrelevant to most users. Younger users don't even know what IE is. For a whole generation of users, the big bad guy in tech is Google, not MS (also deserved!). And many older users just used whatever was the default on their PC. Plus, I think bad reputations are something almost any company can overcome, particularly with good-will signs like the current version of Edge (not to mention a hugely improved Office and Windows experiences over the past 5-10 years).
  • I generally agree, but I do think there are a fair number of young Google fans, whether from their Android phones, Chromebooks in schools, or just generally Google's activism. Similarly, I think there are many older people who still think of Microsoft as the dirty company that needed to be broken up for monopolistic practices a while back, including "forcing" their web browser on everyone who used Windows. That's a brand problem that never fades for many of those who cared about it at the time. The real question is do those people number enough to make a notable difference for Edge adoption? For that, I really have no idea.
  • Safari is normally used on a MAc and IOS devices, so Safari will eventully lose to Edge considering there are far more Windows based machines out there than Macs and people will use Edge on their Android phone because they think they need to if they have it on their computer. I don't care what browser is number, 1, 2 or 100, as long as the browser I use is supported and do what I want it to do.
    I changed from Cent to Firefox a few months ago, I have now gone back to cent, I can not see myself using Edge, I have had a look, but it doesn't do anything different for me than Cent or Firefox. But the article is right about chrome, even Mac users seem to use it.
  • I suspect this is true for many of us here at Windows Central: I love Edge. I also love the direction MS is going with it. I was a little skeptical when they switched to Chromium, and still miss the old inking capabilities, but overall, that was clearly the right move and Chromium Edge today, in spite of some niche losses, is overall much, much better than the legacy Edge. For years, I used Opera, Firefox, and IE then Legacy Edge. I needed Firefox and Opera for features that didn't work well in IE/Edge Legacy. Now, with the new Edge, I almost never find myself needing either of them. I use Chrome from time-to-time, just to keep my occasional Google Service accesses (e.g., for apps we make available on Google Play) off my Edge browser. I must believe that as more people find Edge, they'll stick with it, and its usage numbers will grow. It really has no major negatives, and it has several unique positives that are not found elsewhere. In the US, where about half of smartphone users use iOS, but most iOS users also use Windows rather than Mac, and many of them are anti-Google because of the iPhone vs. Android competition, I would think that's a ripe audience for winning Edge converts from Chrome.
  • The article doesn't say explicitly, but I imagine this is desktops across Windows and MacOS, Linux being a rounding error. That is sort of sad that the default, preinstalled browser isn't #1 on either Windows or MacOS. Chrome just isn't that good. Safari might be on MacOS, but lumped in with all desktops falls short.
  • Firefox 89 is fast and have a clean design. I have both Edge and Firefox because only chromium engine is not good enough