It’s good, but not good enough

Why the Microsoft Edge browser is still destined to fail


Make no mistake, this is an impressive browser.

Microsoft’s answer in the browser wars

Microsoft Edge is everything that Internet Explorer wasn’t: clean, zippy and actually okay to use.

In the same fashion that Microsoft has revamped their strategy and products in the post-Ballmer age, they’ve done an impressive job here in terms of both design and usability. From just a technical point, Edge performs at least on par if not better than competing browsers. Even from a design perspective, Edge is leaps and bounds better than Internet Explorer. The impressive design language found in Edge (and in Windows 10) rivals that of Google’s Material Design and Apple’s super-flat-everything design.

This is actually pretty cool.

With the deep integration of Cortana, Edge even brings convenience often only found with mobile devices. This feature alone puts Edge at the forefront of computing.

However, much like other Microsoft products (Windows Phone and the Zune comes to mind), Edge is playing in a losing game.

Here’s a few reasons why:

1. Browser loyalty

There’s no unseating the king: Since 2009, Chrome has had an average user growth of +5% per year, ballooning to a whopping 65% market share. Purely on critical mass/momentum alone, Chrome will continue to dominate for years to come. On both brand and network effect, Google will surely hold on to their legions of users.

2. No extension support

This is a serious one. Without a functioning app/extension ecosystem à la Google Chrome, there’s no incentive for developers (and thus users) to jump over. Users would be stuck with whatever development Microsoft throws their way.

I’m sure at least one lifesaving extension comes to mind.

Oh, what’s this?!

Thankfully, Edge is slated to have extension support shortly after the launch of Windows 10.

3. It’s still the uncool one

It’s bundled with every copy of Windows 10, but that won’t stop people from rushing to install Chrome (or Firefox) on their new computers.

Microsoft still needs to get over the social hurdle if they want to win the hearts and minds of browser users.


Hi,

I’m trying to get back in the habit of writing more often. This article was written during one of my class lectures, so my apologies for not diving deeper into this topic.

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