All the efforts and resources that Microsoft has poured to develop the Windows 10's Edge browser could all amount to nothing. This came after a report revealed how the new application, together with the Internet Explorer, has lost a staggering 331 million users this year.
In October alone, Microsoft browsers saw the flight of 40 million users based on the report of Net Applications, a data analytics vendor. For 2016, the figure could reach more than 331 million. What is particularly disturbing is the fact that the exodus follows a downward pattern throughout the year without any interruption whatsoever.
The first half of 2016 has been marked by an incremental decline, but beginning May, the rate started to plummet more dramatically. According to Computerworld, if the trend continues, Microsoft browsers could hold less than 20 percent of the market share by March next year.
Mozilla figures prominently in the Edge's gloomy narrative. Its Firefox browser seemed to have snagged the bulk of fleeing Edge users, driving the browser's impressive turnaround. Firefox has been steadily in decline for some time only to bounce back in the past two months. Internet Explorer is, of course, bound to fade since Microsoft has stopped supporting its older versions for good.
It is, however, helpful to remember that the Edge's dismal performance could be attributed to its limited availability. It is only available in Windows 10, which claims more than 22 percent of the PC OS market. As of October, users of Windows 7 still account for more than 48 percent of overall OS market. Windows 8 and Windows XP users claim 2.17 percent and 8.27 percent share, respectively.
In contrast, rival browser platforms such as Chrome and Firefox can be used on all Windows versions and even on MacOS. The news, therefore, that revealed how Microsoft is currently mulling universal Windows support is not surprising.
The drastic improvement of Firefox user base should also be, in a way, heartening for Microsoft as it highlights how trends could shift or get reversed in a matter of months.
At this point, Microsoft is aggressively promoting the Edge browser to Windows 10 users. Recent reports, for example, showed that the company has tapped the Notification feature of the operating system to push user adoption to the point of vilifying the Chrome browser, which is currently the dominant player in the market. This has been reinforced by a slew of recent Windows 10 updates.
Unfortunately, Microsoft's aggressive promotional approach seems to be turning off customers, giving them more reason to abandon Edge altogether. This must explain how it has been consistently losing users these past months despite its critically acclaimed features and notable performance advantages over those of its rivals.