Despite Microsoft’s claim of 330 million active devices using Edge, the actual market share of Microsoft’s native browser is in the low single digits (around the same level Windows Phone was when Microsoft decided to kill it).
Google’s Chrome browser, on the other hand, has crested more than 50%, but this has not stopped the company from working to eradicate the last vestiges of competition in the browser space.
GHacks reports that Google has started a campaign to get users on Windows 10 to make Chrome their default browser, something which is somewhat more difficult to achieve on Windows 10.
As part of the ‘Get to Chrome Faster’ campaign, if Chrome is not your default browser the app will open up a tab with instructions on how to set the browser as the default browser in the Windows 10 settings, with a link directly to settings.
As an alternative, the tab will also offer instructions on how to pin the browser to the start menu.
The tab is the active tab regardless of which was your active tab before.
Google is of course in some ways playing with fire. With a market share close to 60%, it would not have to rise much further before monopoly concerns become an issue, which would constrain Google’s behaviour, such as setting Google as the default search engine for the browser.
Given that Edge is only a small fraction of the browser market, other browsers such as Firefox and Opera will also be possible targets, but of course, those users have already made an active choice to use an alternate browser, unlike many Edge users who are simply using the default.
Besides making it difficult to change your default browser, Microsoft has, of course, worked to counter this threat by forcing Windows 10 users to use Edge with Cortana, and tying features like Continue on your PC to Edge. Microsoft has also demanded that any Windows Store apps which are browsers use Edge as their rendering engine.
Given that few Windows 10 users chose Edge actively, is it time for Microsoft to throw in the towel also and concentrate their energies on developing features the majority of Windows 10 users actually want? Let us know below.