The browser wars are ongoing. Everyone wants to have that vital real estate on your computer as the most used application. We do just about everything in our browsers from web surfing to watching videos to accessing cloud applications.
For quite a few years now, Chrome has held the top spot (near 50% of the market share), followed by Safari and Firefox, with Edge pulling up the rear.
But Microsoft’s bet on this Internet Explorer replacement is paying off as it climbs up the ladder in popularity. In August of 2020, Edge gained the edge (no pun intended) over Firefox, dislodging it from the #3 spot. It’s now eyeing Safari, to move into the second position behind Chrome.
As of April 2021, here is where each browser stands in the U.S. market share:
- Chrome: 48.03%
- Safari: 36.63%
- Edge: 5.42%
- Firefox: 3.44%
Why is Edge becoming so popular? We’ll go over some of its best features next.
Reasons You May Want to Switch to Microsoft Edge
In the last 12 months, the use of Edge has grown by more than 1300%. The browser, which was little known just a few years ago when introduced as the IE successor, is now gaining steam. This is due to multiple factors, including some attractive features.
Here are some of the reasons you may want to consider switching all your browser activities over to Edge.
Chromium Boost Means Fast Performance
When Edge first came out in 2015 it was much slower and less supported. Then, Microsoft sped it up considerably by using the Chromium framework and its Edge Chromium-based version was released in January of 2020.
That’s one of the key drivers behind the exploding popularity. Chromium is the same engine that powers Google Chrome and it provides stability, speed, and additional performance features.
Use Chrome or Edge Extensions
Many users choose their browser based on the flexibility of adding extensions and they don’t want to be limited by a newish browser.
When it went to a Chromium-based framework, Edge gained the ability to use the same extensions that the Chrome browser uses.
Users can download extensions from either the Microsoft Edge Addons store or the Chrome Web Store, meaning they don’t give up any of their favorite add-ons by making the switch from Chrome to Edge.
User-Friendly Privacy Features
Due to all the worry about cybersecurity, phishing, and social engineering, browsers have a lot of security settings these days. That’s great for additional control, but many of them are confusing, making it hard to know what to configure to protect your data.
Edge is all about a clean and comprehensive user experience, so it provides clear security settings to make it easier to choose.
For example, in the “Privacy, search, and services” area of your Edge browser settings, you’ll find three comprehensive options for adjusting who can track your movement online. Each also includes explanations of what the setting does.
Kids Mode for Family Security
Edge offers a Kids Mode that allows parents to set up a safe browsing experience for children. It can be used to set age-appropriate content restrictions, serve up kid-focused news, and ensure kids can only browse parent-approved sites.
Bookmarks are handy, but they can quickly add up and be hard to find. They are also not always served in the most legible way, which means users don’t always go back into them to delete old bookmarks they no longer need.
So many people end up with a long unruly list of bookmarked favorites.
The collections feature in Edge is one of the handiest for productivity and saving web pages so they’re easier to find later.
A “collection” is simply a topic that you want to save pages for. When you click to create a new collection, a panel on the right-hand side of the browser will open and you can save pages to a specific collection in one click.
To get to a collection of pages, just click to open the panel. They’re also easy to delete when you no longer need that particular set of saved web pages.
We’re all used to having tabs flow across the top of our browser, it can look a little messy at times, but it’s the way it has always been done by all the browser developers.
Edge has changed that expectation and gives users the ability to adopt a more streamlined and distraction-free look by folding their tabs vertically instead of horizontally.
Just click the small icon at the far top left of the browser to switch to vertical tabs. Click it again if you want to switch back.
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