Microsoft Edge Overtakes Safari as World's Second Most Popular Desktop Browser
Microsoft Edge has overtaken Apple's Safari to become the world's second most popular desktop browser, based on data provided by web analytics service StatCounter.
According to the data, Microsoft Edge is now used on 10.07 percent of desktop computers worldwide, 0.46 percent ahead of Safari, which stands at 9.61 percent. Google Chrome remains in first place with a dominant 66.64 percent share, and Mozilla's Firefox stands in fourth with 7.86 percent.
As the default Windows 11 browser, the popularity of Edge has crept up in recent months, with the first concrete signs that it would surpass Safari to take second place coming in February, when it was used on 9.54 percent of desktops globally. Back in January 2021, Safari held a 10.38 percent market share, indicating a gradual slippage in popularity over the last 14 months.
Meanwhile, first-placed Chrome has seen its user base increase incrementally over that time, but perhaps surprisingly, Firefox has leaked users since the beginning of the year, despite regular updates and improvements. That suggests Safari's hold on third place isn't in immediate danger, having lost only 0.23 percent share since February, but things could always change fast if Apple decides to introduce sweeping changes to the way Safari works in macOS 13 later this year.
When it comes to mobile platforms, it's a different story, reflecting Microsoft's lack of a mobile operating system since the demise of Windows Mobile. In StatCounter's analysis, Edge doesn't even make it into the top six browsers on mobile, but first-placed Chrome commands 62.87 of usage share, with Safari on iPhones and iPads taking a comfortable 25.35 percent in second place, 20.65 percent ahead of third-placed Samsung Internet, with 4.9 percent.
Looking at the overall statistics for desktop and mobile, Chrome leads with 64.36 percent, Safari lies in second with 19.13 percent, and Edge stands in third with 4.07 percent of the total market share. Trailing the top three are Firefox, Samsung Internet, and Opera with 3.41 percent, 2.84 percent, and 2.07 percent, respectively, in that order of position.
Safari for desktop has faced complaints from some users in recent years because of bugs, user experience, and website compatibility, causing Apple's Safari team to ask for feedback about how it can improve. At WWDC last year, Apple introduced a radical redesign of its browser, but the changes were met with derision, and Apple eventually rolled many of them back before releasing the final version to the public in September.
With the likes of Brave, Vivaldi, and DuckDuckGo in its rearview mirror, Apple is likely to be wary of making such substantial changes in future versions of its native browser, leading to a focus on bug fixes and performance improvements instead.