Microsoft Edge poised to overtake Safari as second biggest desktop browser

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Microsoft is narrowing the gap between Edge and Apple's Safari as the second most-used desktop browser in the world, with a change in position potentially happening within months.

Web browsing is dominated by Google Chrome, with it being the most popular desktop browser by a huge margin. However, in the closely-fought battle for second place, Apple's Safari may soon lose its position to Microsoft Edge.

The replacement to the once-dominant Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge has slowly gained an audience, according to StatCounter's Desktop Browser Market Share charts. Over the last year, it has moved from a 7.81-percent share in January 2021 to 9.54 percent in January 2021.

While this has helped it overtake Firefox already, doing so in March 2021, Edge has gradually seen its share increase over time, with January's data showing it has a 9.54 percent share. By contrast, Safari has stayed relatively stable over time, with it currently at a 9.84 percent share.

If Edge continues to increase in usage, it could gain enough share to unseat Safari from second place, pushing it into third. That could also result in Safari becoming fourth, as a resurgence of Mozilla Firefox put its January percentage at 9.18, within a close range of both Edge and Safari.

StatCounter global desktop browser market share

For reference, Google Chrome reported a 65.38 percent share in January 2022, its lowest in the last 12 months following its high of 68.76 percent in June.

On a regional basis, Safari is ahead of Edge by roughly 5 percentage points for North America, giving it a healthy amount of space. In Asia, Microsoft already leads with 7.46 percent to 5.41 percent, while in Europe, Safari lags behind at 9.95 percent to Edge's 10.9 percent and Firefox's 10.92 percent.

While Edge is a danger to Safari on desktops, Safari still continues to enjoy a sizable audience on tablets and smartphones. When examining all platforms globally, Safari is second overall at 19.84 percent, behind Chrome at 63.06 percent and ahead of both Firefox and Edge, at 4.18 percent and 4.12 percent respectively.