in Data & Insights

Can’t Edge Out Chrome

By Jackson Newhouse, Software Engineer

Microsoft Edge replaces Internet Explorer, not Chrome in Windows 10 release

Tomorrow Microsoft will announce new updates to Windows 10 and its accompanying devices. Leading up to the announcement, we were curious if internet traffic was changing over to the Microsoft Edge browser as they had hoped. Quantcast data shows that instead of replacing Internet Explorer traffic, Windows 10 users are transitioning to Google Chrome for their browser of choice.

A New Windows

Microsoft Windows currently dominates the operating system (OS) market with 90% of the worldwide market share as of June 2015. On July 29th Quantcast data saw Windows 7 and 8 users starting to upgrade their operating systems to the newly released, free Windows 10. Since then, the percentage of traffic from Windows 10 has steadily grown, with the latest numbers showing over 15% of Windows traffic coming from the new operating system (Fig. 1). Given the consistent growth rate, we expect Windows 10 traffic to make up an increasingly large share of the overall Windows traffic.

Fig. 1_retina

Interestingly, you can notice small spikes in the adoption rate of Windows 10 over the weekend. This happens because home user activity accounts for a larger share of traffic on the weekend. Work computers tend to have stricter IT restrictions and are slower to adopt new changes, such as operating system upgrades. Overall, weekends see increases in Windows 10 and Chrome usage, with Internet Explorer’s share dipping.

A New Browser War

With changing operating systems comes the possibility of changing browsers. Among many new features, Windows 10 ships with a new default browser, Microsoft Edge. Replacing the oft-cumbersome Internet Explorer, Edge promises to bring better, faster web navigation to those choosing Windows’ default browser. With features like customized extensions and a new rendering engine EdgeHTML might Microsoft be able to challenge the market leading Chrome browser?

Fig. 2_retina-Windows10

So far, this doesn’t seem to be the case. The wide release of Windows 10 did initially bump Edge’s market share from 12% to 16%. However, this increase was temporary, with Chrome recovering from temporary losses and reaching over 70% market share of Windows 10 (Figure 2), higher than the 63% it pulls in on Windows 7 and 8.

A Victory For Chrome

Since the beginning of August, Chrome has seen steady gains in the overall percent of traffic coming from Windows 7-10 (Figure 3). This has been due both to high Chrome adoption on Windows 10 (over 70%) and falling Internet Explorer usage on Windows 7 and 8. While Microsoft introduced Edge with the hope of broad adoption, it seems Chrome is picking up many of those leaving Internet Explorer.

Figure 3 - Windows10

Conclusion

The Windows 10 rollout seems to be a success for Microsoft. More and more users are using Windows 10 every day, and most have shifted off of the old Internet Explorer. However, that movement hasn’t entirely been towards Edge, with a number of users choosing Chrome instead. Microsoft may be able to make further inroads into the browser market with Edge, but it’ll take more than a new operating system to unseat Chrome’s dominance.

Jackson-headshot Posted by Jackson Newhouse, Software Engineer