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Windows 10 users back away from the Edge

Gregg Keizer | Oct. 7, 2015
Another metrics vendor weighs in with data, shows Edge run by just 12 percent of Windows 10 users in the U.S.

Net Applications, which tracks user share by tallying unique visitors -- a proxy for the number of devices running any given browser -- said that Edge represented a much more impressive 36% of the browsers run from Windows 10 in September worldwide. But that was down from 39% in August, a worrying trend for Microsoft.

It's surprising the Edge has not captured a larger segment of the Windows 10 browser space. Not only is Edge the out-of-the-box default for Windows 10, but it has also been promoted by Microsoft during 10's upgrade setup. Unless the user intervenes, an upgrade from Windows 7 or 8.1 will swap in Edge for rival browsers as the default.

Some have speculated that Edge's lackluster performance may be due to its unfinished status. The browser currently lacks support for add-ons, for instance, although Microsoft has promised to provide that support this year. Others, including Computerworld readers of earlier news stories about Edge, have more fundamental complaints.

"I found it buggy and [it] did not work well on some sites," said John Scott in an email to Computerworld last month. "[But] when it worked it was fast."

"[Because] the new Edge would not let me cut-and-paste as IE will, I changed back to IE11," added Ron Sereg in another email.

On Microsoft's own support forum, the largest discussion threads related to Edge are about the browser's lack of a "Save As" function -- a basic-to-browsers feature for saving a copy of the current page -- problems accessing sites, and its habit of freezing.

Teething problems with a new application are not new, of course, but the negative first impression, as evidenced by third-party data like Quantcast's, is something Microsoft could have done without. It's trying to ramp up adoption of Edge -- and thus the in-Edge-default of the Bing search engine -- as an important part of its Windows 10 monetization strategy.

Like other browser makers, Microsoft strives for a large share to reap revenue from search advertising. IE and Edge, of course, default to Bing, Chrome defaults to Google, and Firefox to Yahoo in North America.

If sustained, Edge's lack of traction on Windows 10 -- along with a massive slide in IE's numbers over the last nine months, likely due to the August 2014 edict that requires Windows 7 and Windows 8 users to upgrade to IE11 by January 2016 -- will translate into less revenue for Bing.


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