Tuesday , 17 July 2018
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Microsoft wants you on Edge, even if it has to trick you

Microsoft is embarking on a stealth campaign to force you to use its failing Edge browser, incorporating in the big Windows 10 upgrade that is due out this fall tactics that a couple of decades ago might have run afoul of antitrust regulators. Now, though, rather than confront the company, federal regulators are likely to give a big yawn — a sign of just how much of a failure Edge is, and how little other browser providers have to fear.

Meanwhile, the company is unlikely to gain much in market share, certainly not enough to offset the ill will it will generate among its customers.

Microsoft is antsy about Edge because the successor to Internet Explorer has been a dismal failure since it was introduced in March 2015. Its worldwide market share among all browsers on all operating systems on all device types for February 2018 was a lowly 1.8%, versus 57.5% for Chrome, according to Statcounter. And even on Windows 10, where it’s the default browser, it’s a flop — only 11.7% of Windows machines use it, according to Net Applications, down almost two points from the month before, and the lowest market share on Windows 10 yet.

So what is Microsoft doing to try to gain market share for Edge? Is it giving it a head-to-toe revamp and introducing must-have features to compete with Chrome and other browsers? Based on my deep-dive look at the newest version, which is still in beta and will be built into the upcoming Windows 10 Spring Creators Update, it’s certainly not doing that. Very little new is there; the Edge browser you see and use before the update will be much the same Edge browser you use after it.

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