Microsoft Edge poised to overtake Safari as second most popular desktop browser

Microsoft Edge browser logo displayed on a laptop
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Microsoft's Edge browser is on the verge of knocking Apple's Safari from the second most popular spot on desktop systems.

According to browser-tracking company GlobalStats, there's just a 0.3% gap between the two.

In January 2021, Safari had a strong second-place position with 10.38% of the desktop browser market. Firefox was in third place with 8.1%, while Edge languished in fourth with 7.81%.

Firefox lost significant ground last year, dipping to a low of 7.17% in June. Mozilla's loss was Microsoft's gain as Edge moved into third place in April. Its share of the desktop market has grown consistently from June, when it stood at 8.01%.

In January this year, Edge had narrowed Safari's lead. Apple's browser still sat in second place with 9.84%, while Edge had 9.54% of the market. Firefox stood at 9.18%.

The gap between Microsoft and Apple has been roughly the same at around 0.3% for the last three months, the narrowest it has ever been. When Microsoft launched the Chromium version of Edge in January 2020, it had a market share of just 0.02%. If the trend continues, Microsoft stands a chance of edging Apple out of second place.

Chrome, which leads the market on the desktop, has also lost ground since Edge's Chromium-based version appeared. In January 2020 it had 68.78% of the desktop browser market, and now it has a 65.38% share.

While Edge is gaining ground on the desktop, it is invisible on mobile platforms. Although Microsoft publishes an Android version of the browser, it doesn't show up in GlobatStats' figures. Instead, after Chrome (62.06%) and Safari (26.71%), Samsung sits in third place with 5.26% of the market.

Danny Bradbury

Danny Bradbury has been a print journalist specialising in technology since 1989 and a freelance writer since 1994. He has written for national publications on both sides of the Atlantic and has won awards for his investigative cybersecurity journalism work and his arts and culture writing. 

Danny writes about many different technology issues for audiences ranging from consumers through to software developers and CIOs. He also ghostwrites articles for many C-suite business executives in the technology sector and has worked as a presenter for multiple webinars and podcasts.