Brave is now trying to dethrone Microsoft Teams and Google Meet

Brave Software is rolling out a series of upgrades for its privacy-focused video conferencing service, Brave Talk.

As explained in a new blog post, the headline addition is a new browser extension that allows users to attach Brave Talk links to Google Calendar invitations, in the same way as they might with Google Meet. The idea is to give people a simpler way to integrate Brave Talk into their regular working routine.

Beyond the browser extension, the company has also expanded the free version of its video conferencing service, which now supports unlimited video calls for up to four participants (up from two).

The premium version (costing $ 7/month), meanwhile, has received a number of new business-centric features as part of the update, from breakout rooms to emoji reactions, attendee polls and advanced moderation facilities.

Brave tackles video conferencing

Brave is perhaps best known for its web browser of the same name, which blocks both ads and tracking cookies, but the company is expanding rapidly in new product areas. For example, there’s now a Brave VPN, firewall, crypto wallet, news aggregator and search engine, all of which are said to be optimized for privacy.

Pitched as an alternative to video conferencing services operated by the likes of Microsoft and Google, Brave Talk is another member of this growing portfolio.

“Unlike other video conferencing providers, which can involve collecting and sharing user data without adequate transparency and control, Brave Talk is designed to not share user information or contacts by default,” Brave states.

“Brave Talk is designed to serve you, not track you, and is designed for unlinkability [whereby there is nothing that links a participant to a call]. This privacy protection carries through to the Google Calendar extension.”

For Google Workspace customers at least, the ability to add a Brave Talk link to a Google Calendar entry with ease will minimize the friction involved in switching service, a crucial factor in accelerating adoption.

The extension of the free service to include unlimited calls for up to four people, meanwhile, will make Brave Talk a perfectly viable option for anyone in need of a video conferencing service for occasional personal use.

The main caveat is that Brave Talk calls can only be hosted by someone that uses the Brave browser, which currently holds a comparatively tiny share of the market. The ability for Brave Talk to challenge the likes of Microsoft and Google in the video conferencing market, then, is tied to whether the company is able to challenge the same two rivals in the browser space too.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Microsoft Edge set to dethrone Safari in desktop browser rankings

The improvements and new features Microsoft has added to its browser over the years are beginning to pay off as figures show Microsoft Edge is on the verge of surpassing Safari on desktop.

According to data from web analytics service StatCounter, Edge is now used on 9.54% of desktops worldwide, ahead of Firefox with 9.18% and just behind Safari at 9.84%. 

As you may have guessed, Google Chrome still holds the top spot at 65.38%.

Edge vs Safari

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.

In Europe and Asia though, Edge has already leapfrogged Safari at 10.9% and 7.46% respectively with Apple's browser used on 9.95% of desktops in Europe and just 5.41% in Asia.

Since Safari is the default browser on Apple's iPhone and iPad, it has a 26.71% of mobile market share worldwide which still pales in comparison to Chrome's 62.06% market share on both iOS and Android.

Although Microsoft Edge has been downloaded over 10 million times on the Google Play Store and the app has 4.6 stars on Apple's App Store, the browser isn't even listed in StatCounter's mobile market share rankings.

Edge Legacy vs Chromium Edge

While Chromium-based Edge was released in 2020, Microsoft originally created Edge Legacy for Windows 10 and the company's replacement for Internet Explorer was unveiled back in 2015. Before then, it was known by its codename “Spartan” in reference to Halo's Master Chief.

Even though Edge Legacy only lasted a short while, Microsoft did port the browser to both Android and iOS in 2017 and included the ability to sync the browser with Windows 10 desktops. In March of last year though, Microsoft ended support for Edge Legacy before replacing its old browser with Chromium-based Edge as part of a cumulative monthly security update.

Following the release of its brand new Edge browser, the software giant has continued to update it with new features and functionality including Vertical Tabs, Collections, Web Capture and more. These efforts may not have dethroned Chrome but they have certainly taken away market share from Safari at least on desktop.

If you haven't given Edge a try yet or only have experience with Edge Legacy, there's never been a better time to test out Microsoft's browser. For those that managed to snag an Xbox Series X, Edge even runs on Microsoft's console and can be used to stream games with Nvidia GeForce Now.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More