Edge's share of Windows 10 browsers continues slide

In the U.S., about 1 in 5 Windows 10 users run the default browser

Microsoft's Edge browser has slipped to its smallest-ever percentage of Windows 10 in the U.S., according to data from a consortium of government websites.

Edge, the default browser in Windows 10, was used by 22.1% of those running the new operating system in April, data from the Digital Analytics Program (DAP) showed. DAP tallies visits to more than 4,000 websites on over 400 different domains maintained by U.S. government agencies. The traffic predominantly originates in the U.S., although between 10% and 15% of visitors access the sites from overseas.

DAP's April measurement of Edge's portion of Windows 10 was the smallest since the operating system's release in July 2015, falling below the former low-end mark of 22.4% set in November.

April was the first full month after Microsoft debuted support for extensions -- often called add-ons, in Edge. Many had speculated that users were waiting for add-on support before committing to the browser, and once that support was in place, its share would climb.

The initial Edge add-ons, however, were not only few in number but also niche. It was just earlier this week, for example, that popular ad-blocking add-ons, including AdBlock and Adblock Plus, appeared for Edge.

Other data sources showed a decline in Edge among Windows 10 owners as well. Irish metrics vendor StatCounter, for instance, pegged Edge's U.S. share -- the same demographic, more or less, that was tracked by DAP -- at 16.4% for April, a slight uptick from the previous low of March but down from the 18% at the end of 2015.

Worldwide, Edge was also off earlier numbers. U.S.-based Net Applications, for example, which measures user share, tapped Edge's global share of Windows 10 at 30.6%, flat for the third month in a row but lower than 2015's numbers, which ranged from 36% (in September) to 31% (in November). And StatCounter's global usage share for Edge as a fraction of Windows 10 was 12.7% in April, a new low.

Edge's inability to attract a majority of Windows 10 users has contributed to the overall decline of Microsoft's browser share, which last month fell to second place, behind Google and that company's Chrome. Microsoft's expectation -- when it told Windows users that they must upgrade to the newest version of Internet Explorer (IE) supported for their OS -- was likely that as Windows 10 adoption grew, so would Edge. That might have been enough, perhaps, to make up the shortfall in IE as users were forced to pick another browser.

But Edge's poor showing has, for now at least, wrecked that strategy.

edge share in us Data: Digital Analytics Program

April's traffic from Edge to 4,000 U.S. government websites dropped as a percentage of Windows 10 for the second month in a row, and reached a record low.

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Gregg Keizer

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