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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Chrome OS 100 update arrives with a start menu to rival Windows 11

Google's ChromeOS for Chromebooks was also updated to version 100, alongside its web browser, showcasing a new app launcher and other features.

In a blogpost, the company spoke of the app launcher being the headline feature here, with it moving from the center to the left of the screen, similar to Windows 11's start menu.

Searching for a term also looks cleaner here, with results being shown in a list, with the choice to look at images or news on the query. But there's also other features, such as being able to edit words with your voice and using the webcam to create gifs of yourself.

These are promising features as we approach Google IO in May, and make us wonder if we'll see some surprises at the event for Chrome OS.


Analysis: Strength to strength for Chrome OS

Chrome OS 100 gif feature

(Image credit: Google)

Around 2010, 'netbook' was a term that was associated with smaller-sized laptops that had a terrible battery life and slow speeds, with their only advantage being that they were available for a low price. 

Tablets like the iPad would push these out of the way, but Google saw another route in this area with its Chromebooks, which only run on ChromeOS and offered a majority of Android apps.

These Chromebooks have only gotten better in recent years, especially for those who only do work on Google's apps. In certain places of work, employees are given Chromebooks as their sole machine, mainly due to their solid battery life and being able to easily access their work email, spreadsheets and documents through G Suite.

With Chrome OS reaching version 100 and Android 13 fast approaching, we can't help but wonder if there's going to be some announcements made at Google IO in May. Whether that's in gaming or a dedicated Pixel tablet that runs on Chrome OS instead of Android, it looks to be an encouraging time if you're all in on the Google ecosystem.

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Chrome OS 100 update arrives with a start menu to rival Windows 11

Google's ChromeOS for Chromebooks was also updated to version 100, alongside its web browser, showcasing a new app launcher and other features.

In a blogpost, the company spoke of the app launcher being the headline feature here, with it moving from the center to the left of the screen, similar to Windows 11's start menu.

Searching for a term also looks cleaner here, with results being shown in a list, with the choice to look at images or news on the query. But there's also other features, such as being able to edit words with your voice and using the webcam to create gifs of yourself.

These are promising features as we approach Google IO in May, and make us wonder if we'll see some surprises at the event for Chrome OS.


Analysis: Strength to strength for Chrome OS

Chrome OS 100 gif feature

(Image credit: Google)

Around 2010, 'netbook' was a term that was associated with smaller-sized laptops that had a terrible battery life and slow speeds, with their only advantage being that they were available for a low price. 

Tablets like the iPad would push these out of the way, but Google saw another route in this area with its Chromebooks, which only run on ChromeOS and offered a majority of Android apps.

These Chromebooks have only gotten better in recent years, especially for those who only do work on Google's apps. In certain places of work, employees are given Chromebooks as their sole machine, mainly due to their solid battery life and being able to easily access their work email, spreadsheets and documents through G Suite.

With Chrome OS reaching version 100 and Android 13 fast approaching, we can't help but wonder if there's going to be some announcements made at Google IO in May. Whether that's in gaming or a dedicated Pixel tablet that runs on Chrome OS instead of Android, it looks to be an encouraging time if you're all in on the Google ecosystem.

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This Microsoft Teams rival you’ve never heard of is ready for expansion

Alibaba has announced some new features for DingTalk, an enterprise-focused alternative to Microsoft Teams that has over 500 million users. 

DingTalk is part of Alibaba Cloud, one of the world's leading cloud providers by market share, and the service combines messaging, task management, audio and video conferencing, live-streaming, real-time translation and more. 

According to The Register, the service is currently available to Chinese SMBs for no cost, and an English language version is also available Malaysia. But now, Alibaba is looking to attract a wider selection of customers, with new avenues for extensibility and additional subscription plans.

The company says the free basic version will remain available as before, alongside three paid tiers with extra features, and a new commission model will be added for software and hardware vendors.

The race for corporate messaging 

Corporate messaging apps have taken off during the pandemic, as almost all businesses moved to an online model for working.

Zoom was the early winner, offering best-in-class video tools, but Microsoft was quick to expand and upgrade Teams, its all-in-one offering, and the company's pre-existing relationship with enterprises was a huge bonus. 

On top of that, a host of other services, such as Slack, have catered to remote needs. 

Given the Chinese internet is distinct from the Western internet, it makes sense that Alibaba – one of its largest companies, alongside Tencent – offers the same services for a domestic audience. 

Alibaba says over 19 million organizations use DingTalk already, a formidable number, and one-third of customers have over 2,000 employees. Around 1.9 million developers offer over 2.4 million add-on features.

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Python could soon rival JavaScript for web applications

There’s a new project that’ll reportedly enable the Python programming language to run within web browsers with the help of WebAssembly.

The CPython on WASM project, which will build the default and most popular implementation of the Python language written in C is developed by Berkeley-based software developer, Ethan Smith.

According to The Register, the project was created with the help of core Python developer Christian Heimes, and could make Python a viable alternative to JavaScript, at least for some web applications.

Python on the web

“The new project which Christian Heimes and I are working on has a goal of making the web a supported platform for CPython, just like Windows or macOS,” Smith told The Register.

WebAssembly has taken the world by storm thanks to its promise of bringing the performance of native applications to the web, to the level that isn’t possible with JavaScript.

However, The Register notes that at this point, the goal of the project to bring Python to the browser through WebAssembly’s  Emscripten compiler, is more about enabling the use case, rather than performance.

The project reportedly comes in the wake of another project, called Pyodide, which too enables Python code to run in the browser.

“My hope is that this will enable a wider ecosystem of Python developers targeting the web, and allow for easier integration with existing Python tools and processes, many of which Pyodide has had to reinvent like micropip to replace the standard pip package installer,” explained Smith. 

Smith hopes that his project can help facilitate web-based cross-platform app development, but is quick to add that CPython on WASM is still in the early stages of development.

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HTC has launched a free VR rival to Zoom and Teams

Businesses around the world have turned to video conferencing software such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams as a means to hold meetings during the coronavirus outbreak but interacting with coworkers does prove somewhat difficult when behind a webcam.

This is why HTC has announced that the beta version of its remote collaboration and meeting platform for VR, VIVE Sync will be available free of charge for businesses and remote employees during the pandemic.

VIVE Sync, from first-party developer 2 Bears Studio and HTC, supports up to 30 attendees simultaneously and features full body tracking so that participant's personally created avatars can communicate using their actual body language. 

The platform also supports Tobii eye tracking, which is embedded in headsets such as the VIVE Pro Eye, for more natural lifelike interactions with virtual colleagues or clients.

VIVE Sync

Working with your company's files in VR is also easy as Sync integrates with Microsoft OneDrive and OneDrive for business and supports many popular file formats from PowerPoints to PDFs to videos.

However, one of the biggest advantages that VIVE Sync offers is the ability to work with 3D content in VR. Instead of looking at 3D models on a 2D screen as you would with other video conferencing services, Sync lets you bring them into your virtual space and review them together with your team. The software supports FBX and OBJ files, as well as Unity Asset Bundles, which makes it easy to upload, import and review all of your 3D assets.

If you and your team have access to VR headsets and have grown tired of staring at a screen all day long, you can test VIVE Sync out for yourself for free beginning on April 30.

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