State of the Desktop Browser Battle: Microsoft Edge Is Moving Up

Anthony Spadafora, writing for TechRadar:

According to data from web analytics service StatCounter, Microsoft Edge is now used on 9.54% of desktops worldwide, just behind Safari at 9.84%. As you may have guessed, Google Chrome still holds the top spot at 65.38%, with fellow challenger Mozilla Firefox now trailing in behind with 9.18%.

While Edge may be catching up to Safari worldwide, in North America it’s a different story, as Apple’s browser is used on 16.87% of desktops compared to Edge’s 11.93% market share.

These stats are desktop-only — Safari comes in much higher on mobile, of course. No pun intended, but even limiting the stats to “desktop” is not an apples-to-apples comparison, because Safari is available only on the Mac (but, has the enormous advantage of being the default). StatCounter pegs MacOS’s share of North America desktop usage at 26%, which suggests that roughly one-third of Mac users use Chrome (or Edge or Firefox — but probably Chrome). Chrome dominates the desktop overall, but second place appears to be a very tight three-way race between Safari, Edge, and Firefox.

Also worth noting: mobile browsing is so profoundly popular that only Chrome (63%) and Safari (20%) register above the baseline when you look at all browsing across all platforms.

Update: Alexandre Dieulot reminded me that in 2019 Apple changed Safari’s default user-agent string on iPadOS to look like Safari’s for MacOS. (This happened with the release of iPadOS 13, the first version with the name “iPadOS”.) You can see the apparent uptick in StatCounter’s numbers for “MacOS” starting in September 2019.

Wednesday, 23 February 2022