Firefox Topples Microsoft Internet Explorer And Edge In Global Browser Market Share

We suspect there are some high-fives flying around in Mozilla's offices this morning, as the company's Firefox browser has now caught up with and even slightly bumped ahead of both Internet Explorer and Edge combined in desktop browser market share, according to data provided by StatsCounter.

It's the narrowest of victories with Firefox claiming a 15.6 percent share of the desktop browser market at the end of April, compared to 15.5 percent for Microsoft's two browsers combined. In horse racing, that would be a photo finish. Even if you want to call it a tie, which you'd be justified in doing, Microsoft can't be thrilled that more users aren't adopting its Edge browser.

Firefox Tattoo

"Microsoft might have expected a boost to its overall browser share as the result of the launch of the Windows 10 with Edge but it hasn’t happened to date," commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter.

While Mozilla and Microsoft scrap for second place, Google is off to races way out ahead of both in first place with a dominating 60.5 percent share for its Chrome browser. Chrome was the only major desktop browser to increase its share in April, going from 60.1 percent in March and up from 59 percent in February.

Going by StatCounter's data, Chrome is now where IE used to be ever since it buried Netscape Navigator 101 years ago (rough estimate). For the longest time, IE was the most used desktop browser by a wide margin, giving Microsoft control over web standards (or a license to sidestep them).

The other reason market share matters is because there's big money in search. Firefox makes hundreds of millions of dollars through search deals, and the more market share it has, the more money it can demand to feature a search engine as the default option. It also gives it the flexibility to shop around, as Mozilla did in 2014 when it dumped Google for Yahoo.