Microsoft to launch Edge amid growing challenges in internet browsing business
Software giant has seen a sharp decrease in the numbers of users browsing with its Internet Explorer
US software giant Microsoft has unveiled the official name of its new browser for its upcoming Windows 10, which will replace Internet Explorer.
The move comes at a time when the American tech giant sees fast-growing challenges by many Asian industry players that are keen to develop new technology to make online browsing a faster and more user-friendly experience. Chinese internet firms including Alibaba, mainland China’s top e-commerce firm, and Sina.com, China’s top web portal, have developed their own browsers, attracting new users and thereby eating Microsoft’s market shares in one of the world’s fastest growing Internet markets.
Microsoft unveiled the browser's name, Microsoft Edge, and its features at its Build developer conference in San Francisco last week. Since the news went public, it has attracted much attention from industry players and internet users who are curious to know what the next generation of internet browser to run on Microsoft operating system will look like
Named Project Spartan in development, the Edge browser will replace the 20-year-old Internet Explorer. Edge is a universal Windows app, so will run on Windows 10 PCs, tablets, phones and Xbox On.
Windows 10 is expected to be launched by the end of the summer. Microsoft announced in March that it was discontinuing Internet Explorer, its much-maligned but widely used web browser, first released in 1995.
Edge will allow users to use Cortana, Microsoft’s personal assistant, or rival to Apple’s Siri, as well as popular extensions from Google Chrome and Firefox browsers, CNET reported.
Internet Explorer’s popularity in China has been falling since Microsoft ceased supporting the browser on Windows XP, which many computers in China run, in April last year.
Internet Explorer fell to 23.5 per cent market share in February 2015, down from 41 per cent in March 2014, according to StatCounter.
Google Chrome, which still supports its browser on Windows XP stands at 53.3 per cent market share in February 2015, up from 38.2 per cent in March 2014.
China’s homegrown browsers, Sogou explorer, QQ Browser and Maxthon took 8.6, 4.7, and 2.7 per cent of the market respectively.
UC Browser created by UCWeb, which was bought by Alibaba, is China’s most popular mobile browser. The browser held 35.5 per cent of the Chinese mobile market at the end of 2014 and is the fourth most popular mobile browser worldwide, according to StatCounter.