It’s fair to say that Google Chrome has dominated the web browser landscape for years now, ever since replacing Microsoft’s Internet Explorer as most people’s browser of choice and leaving Firefox and Safari behind in the rear-view mirror of tech history. But recently, Microsoft has undertaken a significant reinvention- the creation of Microsoft Edge.
So the question is this: Can Microsoft Edge’s new features make Google Chrome obsolete?
So, what’s changed about Edge?
The most significant change that Microsoft has made to its Edge Browser was switching to a Chromium-based platform. Sound familiar? It should. Chromium is an open-source browser platform used by many web browsers, including Google Chrome.
By switching to Chromium, Microsoft has basically said, “if you can’t beat them, join them.” But it’s more than that. By switching to Chromium, Microsoft has access to the same base-levels of performance, security, and stability as Google Chrome.
Now it’s more of a case of Microsoft saying to Google, “anything you can do, I can do better.” But have they truly done it better?
Edge vs. Chrome
On the surface, there’s very little difference between the two browsers. They pretty much look the same and support mostly the same extensions and plugins.
They have similar performance metrics, although Edge is less bloated and uses less memory than Chrome. They both operate on all the major operating systems and have a largely matching set of features.
Possibly the major difference between the two browsers isn’t anything to do with the user’s browser experience, but what each company does with your data while browsing.
It’s much easier to manage your security and privacy setting using Edge than Chrome. If digital privacy is important to you, that’s one reason you might consider switching to Edge.
Could Google Chrome Become Obsolete?
Theoretically, yes. Remember Netscape? It was once used by 86% of web users. But then Microsoft started shipping Internet Explorer with Windows, and Netscape’s user share crashed. Internet Explorer itself reached a high of 90% of all web users in 2004, before slowly declining.
So, theoretically, yes, Google Chrome may become obsolete. But, is Edge the killer-app to do the job? That’s a more challenging question to answer.
In some ways, the question is more about a user’s overall ecosystem. If you’re a Windows 10 user, and you don’t have a Gmail account or use Google services such as Google Drive, then there’s no reason to be tied to Google Chrome.
However, if you’re tied to Gmail, Google Drive, and a bunch of other Google apps, then there’s probably little incentive to move away from Google. Unless you’re uncomfortable with the amount of data Google collects about you while using their products. But that’s a purely subjective decision.
So, in the short term, no- the recent changes to Microsoft Edge aren’t going to make Google Chrome disappear anytime soon. But if you’re a Microsoft 365 user, there’s no reason why you couldn’t migrate to a complete Microsoft ecosystem.