Browser wars: Microsoft Edge just steamed past a major rival

As the browser wars rage on, Microsoft Edge is one step closer to challenging Google Chrome as it has finally surpassed another major rival.

According to data from the web analytics service StatCounter, Microsoft’s browser is now used on 9.65 percent of all desktops worldwide which still pales in comparison to Chrome’s 67.26 percent market share.

Back in February of this year, Edge was closing in on Safari but based on new data from March, Apple’s browser now has 9.57 percent of desktop browser market share worldwide. Meanwhile, Mozilla Firefox has slipped slightly from 9.18 percent to 7.57 percent.

Surprisingly, Internet Explorer is still being used on one percent (0.92%) of desktops globally, most likely by users that haven’t upgraded to Windows 11 or even Windows 10 yet. Microsoft is planning to retire its IE 11 app on June 15 of this year though, so these users will have to make the switch to Edge or even to an alternative browser like Opera which has 2.83 percent of desktop browser market share worldwide.

Mobile is a different story altogether

Although Edge is certainly making inroads on desktop, the same can’t be said for Microsoft’s browser on Android and iOS.

According to StatCounter's mobile data, Chrome is used on 63.26 percent of all smartphones which makes sense as there are currently over 3bn active Android devices in use and Google’s browser comes preinstalled on Android smartphones. Likewise, Safari, which comes preinstalled on iPhones, has 24.81 percent of the mobile browser market share worldwide. Samsung’s browser, Samsung Internet, meanwhile is currently in third place at just under five percent (4.99%).

Although Microsoft Edge doesn’t even appear in StatCounter’s mobile browser market share data, its usage is growing on mobile. According to Edge’s Play Store listing, the browser’s mobile app has been installed over 10m times and has 4.5 stars based on 453k user reviews. Apple’s App Store doesn’t provide the same detailed install data that the Play Store does but Edge for iOS is ranked #18 in utilities and has a 4.6 rating based on more than 78k user reviews.

A recent report from Windows Central says that Microsoft is reportedly planning to consolidate its Android efforts into a single division to offer tighter integration between Google’s mobile operating system and Windows 11. While the move is likely more geared towards having Android apps run better on Windows, the software giant’s renewed interest in Android could see it double down on Edge’s mobile app for the platform.

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Browser wars: Microsoft Edge just steamed past a major rival

As the browser wars rage on, Microsoft Edge is one step closer to challenging Google Chrome as it has finally surpassed another major rival.

According to data from the web analytics service StatCounter, Microsoft’s browser is now used on 9.65 percent of all desktops worldwide which still pales in comparison to Chrome’s 67.26 percent market share.

Back in February of this year, Edge was closing in on Safari but based on new data from March, Apple’s browser now has 9.57 percent of desktop browser market share worldwide. Meanwhile, Mozilla Firefox has slipped slightly from 9.18 percent to 7.57 percent.

Surprisingly, Internet Explorer is still being used on one percent (0.92%) of desktops globally, most likely by users that haven’t upgraded to Windows 11 or even Windows 10 yet. Microsoft is planning to retire its IE 11 app on June 15 of this year though, so these users will have to make the switch to Edge or even to an alternative browser like Opera which has 2.83 percent of desktop browser market share worldwide.

Mobile is a different story altogether

Although Edge is certainly making inroads on desktop, the same can’t be said for Microsoft’s browser on Android and iOS.

According to StatCounter's mobile data, Chrome is used on 63.26 percent of all smartphones which makes sense as there are currently over 3bn active Android devices in use and Google’s browser comes preinstalled on Android smartphones. Likewise, Safari, which comes preinstalled on iPhones, has 24.81 percent of the mobile browser market share worldwide. Samsung’s browser, Samsung Internet, meanwhile is currently in third place at just under five percent (4.99%).

Although Microsoft Edge doesn’t even appear in StatCounter’s mobile browser market share data, its usage is growing on mobile. According to Edge’s Play Store listing, the browser’s mobile app has been installed over 10m times and has 4.5 stars based on 453k user reviews. Apple’s App Store doesn’t provide the same detailed install data that the Play Store does but Edge for iOS is ranked #18 in utilities and has a 4.6 rating based on more than 78k user reviews.

A recent report from Windows Central says that Microsoft is reportedly planning to consolidate its Android efforts into a single division to offer tighter integration between Google’s mobile operating system and Windows 11. While the move is likely more geared towards having Android apps run better on Windows, the software giant’s renewed interest in Android could see it double down on Edge’s mobile app for the platform.

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Microsoft Edge update will stop you making an embarrassing blunder

Embarrassing spelling and grammar mistakes will soon be a thing of the past in Microsoft Edge as Microsoft is now rolling out a built-in grammar editor for its browser.

Microsoft Editor is the software giant’s Grammarly competitor and while it’s normally accessed via a browser extension, the company has now decided to directly integrate it into Edge.

Just like with other writing software, Microsoft Editor provides users with both grammar and punctuation corrections and suggestions as they write. In Edge, Editor will be available in over 20 languages but the writing tool will only provide feedback on the main language used in the browser.

In addition to its existing features, Microsoft has said that it will soon begin rolling out text predictions in English, Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese in Editor in order to help users not only write better but also faster.

Web Select

Besides its new Microsoft Editor integration, Microsoft is also bringing another new feature to Edge called web select though it was initially known as smart copy when it was first announced two years ago.

Web select makes it easier to select formatted content like tables, images and text on the web. The feature allows users to quickly select entire paragraphs in their original formatting or copy only the cells they want to in a table. From here, you can then paste content with its original formatting into a Word document or into OneNote to reference later.

While web select will likely be a useful feature for Edge users, it has certainly taken quite a while to arrive in Microsoft’s browser. The company first began testing the feature all the way back in November of 2020.

It’s worth noting that web select isn’t the same as web capture which allows users to take screenshots of webpages and annotate them before sharing or saving them.

In order to try out Microsoft Editor and web select in Microsoft Edge, you first need to make sure you're running the latest version of Microsoft’s browser. To check if you are, you can click on the three-dot menu in the top right corner of the browser and choose Help & feedback and then About Microsoft Edge.

Via XDA

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This long-lost Microsoft Edge feature may be making a comeback

Keeping control of all your most-needed tabs and windows in Microsoft Edge could soon be a whole lot easier.

Spotted by Redditor Leopeva64-2, one of the most recent Edge Canary builds saw a mention of Workspaces, a feature allowing users to group together their tabs and windows within the browser.

The finding was particularly curious as the feature was previously thought to be dead in the water, with no mention of Workspaces in Microsoft Edge since its initial reveal back in April 2021.

Microsoft Edge Workspaces

The Edge Canary build included the option to create and edit new and existing Workspaces as part of the browser's Appearance settings. Although the button to toggle these features didn't appear to be available, its presence suggests the tool will be arriving soon.

Workspaces looked to operate alongside Microsoft's existing Collections tool, but instead of the latter's ability to save individual tabs, the new addition would let users name certain tabs or windows, as well as customizing them with a certain color to categorize.

It would also allow users to keep groups of work and personal browser tabs separate, with each Workspace containing multiple tabs, meaning that even if you close an Edge window without deleting a workspace, it will remain available the next time you launch the browser.

For now, the feature seems limited to Canary builds, but given the progress, could possibly appear in a new version of Microsoft Edge soon.

The launch would be the latest in a long line of features aimed at making Microsoft Edge easier to use for customers everywhere. Recently, Microsoft announced its Task Manager tool will now be able to display exactly what Microsoft Edge processes are using what amount of memory on your device – displaying a list of processes under the browser, including specific tabs, extensions and subframes – and will now be able to select any of these to close individually.

Edge is also set to soon get a new Performance Detector feature which will help browser users debug performance issues caused by common problems such as running multiple windows or tabs, as well as any issues caused by unnecessary tabs or the use of extensions that may be hogging bandwidth.

Via OnMSFT

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This long-lost Microsoft Edge feature may be making a comeback

Keeping control of all your most-needed tabs and windows in Microsoft Edge could soon be a whole lot easier.

Spotted by Redditor Leopeva64-2, one of the most recent Edge Canary builds saw a mention of Workspaces, a feature allowing users to group together their tabs and windows within the browser.

The finding was particularly curious as the feature was previously thought to be dead in the water, with no mention of Workspaces in Microsoft Edge since its initial reveal back in April 2021.

Microsoft Edge Workspaces

The Edge Canary build included the option to create and edit new and existing Workspaces as part of the browser's Appearance settings. Although the button to toggle these features didn't appear to be available, its presence suggests the tool will be arriving soon.

Workspaces looked to operate alongside Microsoft's existing Collections tool, but instead of the latter's ability to save individual tabs, the new addition would let users name certain tabs or windows, as well as customizing them with a certain color to categorize.

It would also allow users to keep groups of work and personal browser tabs separate, with each Workspace containing multiple tabs, meaning that even if you close an Edge window without deleting a workspace, it will remain available the next time you launch the browser.

For now, the feature seems limited to Canary builds, but given the progress, could possibly appear in a new version of Microsoft Edge soon.

The launch would be the latest in a long line of features aimed at making Microsoft Edge easier to use for customers everywhere. Recently, Microsoft announced its Task Manager tool will now be able to display exactly what Microsoft Edge processes are using what amount of memory on your device – displaying a list of processes under the browser, including specific tabs, extensions and subframes – and will now be able to select any of these to close individually.

Edge is also set to soon get a new Performance Detector feature which will help browser users debug performance issues caused by common problems such as running multiple windows or tabs, as well as any issues caused by unnecessary tabs or the use of extensions that may be hogging bandwidth.

Via OnMSFT

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This Microsoft Edge update could bring some rather unexpected bloatware

The bloatware controversy surrounding Microsoft Edge looks set to rumble on a little while longer following news of another update.

The browser is set to receive a Skype Meet Now extension icon for its toolbar that will allow users to launch a video meeting directly from their window.

However, users have already noted that including such a potentially resource-heavy tool could put extra strain on older machines, and slow down Microsoft Edge even more.

Skype Meet Now extension

Digging into the latest Edge Canary build, WindowsLatest found the new Skype meetings launchers in the toolbar alongside several other existing extensions and services such as screen capture and download management.

The site discovered the new Skype Meet Now icon would let users launch a call with just one click, meaning no need to download other software or even sign up to the service. Users simply need to add a name for their meeting to receive a unique URL that can then be shared with others.

It does seem that the Skype Meet Now tool can be disabled from the Microsoft Edge settings menu, but it's the latest potentially unwanted and unloved addition to the browser.

The news comes as Microsoft looks to make Edge more of a multi-faceted tool for users everywhere as it gets close to Version 100

The company recently revealed it is working on using Edge to make it easier to install progressive web apps (PWAs) across multiple devices, meaning once you have installed a PWA on one device, you will then see an option to install it on other devices with a single click.

Microsoft Edge continues to perform strongly in the global browser market, with recent figures placing it on the verge of surpassing Apple's Safari offering. 

The latest StatCounter numbers show Microsoft Edge is now used on 9.54% of desktops worldwide, just behind Safari at 9.84% – although both are still far behind runaway market leader Google Chrome on 65.38%.

Via Windows Latest

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Microsoft Edge wants to make the web more accessible for everyone

The revolutionary power of the internet is hard to quantify but for some, accessing even the basic aspects is difficult. Blind and low-vision people often interact with the web using screen readers, tools that read the contents of a page out loud. 

Unfortunately, msot screen readers rely on alternative text (or alt text) and other behind-the-scenes information to do their job properly, and developers can sometimes overlook these significant but small details.

In order to help out, Microsoft has announced new features for its Edge browser that automatically add alt text to images that do not have it already, something the company hopes will make the web more accessible.

“When a screen reader finds an image without a label, that image can be automatically processed by machine learning (ML) algorithms to describe the image in words and capture any text it contains,” says Microsoft’s Travis Leithead. “The algorithms are not perfect, and the quality of the descriptions will vary, but for users of screen readers, having some description for an image is often better than no context at all.” 

The update hopefully solves the problem of screen readers reading out “unlabelled graphic” whenever an image doesn’t have alt text. 

Microsoft Edge accessibility

Powering the technology is, of course, the company's Azure cloud platform. Any unlabelled image will be sent by Microsoft Edge to Azure’s computer vision systems, which then auto-generates alt text in English, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, or Chinese Simplified. 

Some images – like those that are smaller than 50×50 pixels, contain pornographic, gory, or sexually suggestive content, or are very large – unfortunately won’t be sent for analysis.  

Microsoft is rolling out the changes to Edge on Windows, macOS, and Linux right now and expects to add them to iOS and Android at a later date.

“This feature is still new, and we know that we are not done,” says Leithead. “We’ve already found some ways to make this feature even better, such as when images do have a label, but that label is not very helpful (e.g., a label of “image” or “picture” or similar synonym that is redundant with the obvious). Continuous image recognition and algorithm improvements will also refine the quality of the service.”

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Microsoft Edge could be the secret weapon to boost your PC performance

Boosting your PC performance could get a welcome hand from Microsoft Edge, which is getting a new tool to help spot issues that could slow down your machine.

The new Performance Detector feature will help browser users debug performance issues caused by common problems such as running multiple windows or tabs.

These activities can lead to your device running slower, affecting battery life and user experience, but Microsoft says its new tool could spell an end to such worries.

Microsoft Edge Performance Detector

Performance Detector will be able to see any issues caused by unnecessary tabs or the use of extensions that may be hogging bandwidth.

When switched on, the tool will be able to monitor how Edge is running, and if it detects  any issues, can recommend actions or fixes. This will most likely be through pop-up alerts or notifications, but Microsoft has yet to confirm the exact details.

The feature is currently available to testers in the Microsoft Edge Canary scheme, meaning it should receive a wider public launch soon – although there's no concrete information on this just yet.

The tool will run alongside the existing Microsoft Edge efficiency mode, which looks to help users extend their battery life by minimizing how much power and system resources the browser uses.

This is done through a number of features, including setting background tabs into sleep mode after five minutes of inactivity, and also fade sleeping tabs in order to save memory and CPU usage.

Microsoft says that engaging efficiency mode will help not only improve battery life on your device, but also allow whatever version of Windows you may be using to perform more effectively – although this will depend on exactly what device you are using.

Efficiency mode has also emerged in Windows Task Manager, where users can employ it to push the application in question down the priority list when it comes to system resource allocation, helping boost performance and battery life.

Via Windows Latest

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The latest Microsoft Edge update might be the most puzzling yet

Microsoft is testing an update for Edge that will introduce a new Skype integration to the web browser.

In the latest early access build, available to members of the Edge Insider program, users can immediately launch into a Skype video call using the “Meet now” button positioned next to the address bar.

Clicking the button will open a pop-up panel that lets users name their meeting, create a link that others can use to dial in, and join a separate meeting using a link provided by someone else.

An unexpected alliance

To the untrained eye, it may seem unremarkable that Microsoft is moving to blend together Edge and Skype, which it purchased in 2011 for a whopping $ 8.5 billion. But in the context of the meteoric rise of Microsoft Teams, the latest Edge update appears strange indeed.

Since the start of the pandemic and transition to remote working, Microsoft Teams has emerged as the company’s flagship communication platform. The latest data suggests the service now boasts more than 270 million monthly active users.

Not only has Microsoft delivered a constant stream of feature updates for Teams, but the platform has also been built into the heart of the company’s new Windows 11 operating system, with a Teams icon affixed permanently to the taskbar. In years gone by, it was Skype that was installed by default on the Windows platform.

Given this state of affairs, and the closure of Skype for Business in 2021, the widespread assumption was that Microsoft would continue to invest fewer and fewer resources into the Skype brand moving forward. In turn, all the indicators suggest the company will attempt to push Teams further into the consumer market.

However, the latest early-access Edge build suggests there is life in Skype yet. Whether the update is an indication of a deliberate campaign to revive the older platform, or simply an attempt to service the remaining pool of users, will become clear with time.

Via Windows Central

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Microsoft Edge is throwing its weight behind web apps

Microsoft is looking into a method of making it easier to install progressive web apps (PWAs) across multiple devices using its browser.

The company is testing a way of using Microsoft Edge to simplify the process of installing PWAs on seperate devices. The move will mean that once you have installed a PWA on one device, you will then see an option to install it on other devices with a single click.

The addition could be great news for businesses looking to install and allow employees run workplace apps across multiple devices, for example a business laptop used for remote working, or a mobile or tablet device when on the move.

Microsoft Edge PWAs

The new feature, spotted by Leo Varela and shared to Reddit, will live within the Apps menu on Microsoft Edge.

PWAs, which are essentially web pages that behave and offer much of the same functionality as native apps, can not only dynamically shift to fit mobile or desktop screens, but are also a lot lighter, faster, and have a lower impact on battery life.

Once a PWA has been installed on one device, Varela noted, it will now appear in a list of available apps for other devices when you are connected to the internet on Microsoft Edge. These apps can be installed on the new device with just a click, greatly streamlining the setup process.

The feature appears to be available to Edge Canary users for now, meaning a wider rollout could be on the cards for sometime in the next few weeks.

The news follows a similar move by the great rival to Microsoft Edge, as Google Chrome announced it would be working on a new file handling API that will enable Chrome PWAs to work with files in the host operating system's file system like a native app in May 2021.

  • As a final line of defence, take a look at the best firewalls right now

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