As IE Market Share Falls Below 55%, Microsoft Pins Hopes On Windows 10 ‘Edge’ Browser

All eyes are on Microsoft as it gets ready to release Windows 10, the next generation operating system that's such a significant upgrade, the Redmond outfit decided to skip right over Windows 9. Microsoft has a lot riding on Windows 10, though it's not just about the OS as a whole. There are subplots at play, like whether or not Microsoft's new Edge browser will rule the web the way Internet Explorer once did.

For the first time in forever, Internet Explorer's desktop browser share is below 55 percent, having fallen from 55.15 percent at the May to 54 percent at the end of June, according to Net Applications. If we look back a year ago, IE was holding onto a 58.35 percent share. A 4.35 percent drop in 12 months is pretty significant, especially when Microsoft is trying to fend off advances by Chrome in the browser space.

Project Spartan

Speaking of which, Google's Chrome browser is up to a 27.23 percent share of the market, up nearly a percentage point month-over-month. More importantly, it represents a nearly 8 percent climb from the same period a year ago when Chrome's share was at 19.24 percent. At the current pace things are going for IE and Chrome, the two will be virtually tied in two years, and in three years, Chrome will have a 10 percent lead over IE.

What's the big deal? It's true that today's browsers are free, so neither company makes any direct money by choosing one over the other. But with market share comes power, both in the form of advertising dollars in the search wars (Bing is the default search in IE, while Google is the default search in Chrome) and in pushing Internet standards. Make no mistake, both companies want as much browser market share as they can get.

Edge

For Microsoft, the future belongs to Edge, the browser formerly known as Project Spartan. The good news for Microsoft is that Edge seems to be shaping up nicely. It has a clean layout, communicates with Cortana, is secure, and includes some nifty features like allowing users to scribble on the web.

Are you planning to use Edge once Windows 10 ships? If not, what is your browser of choice?

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