Top web browsers 2018: Being the default does little good

The browsers bundled with operating systems, notably Microsoft’s Edge and Apple’s Safari, fell to new lows last month as they continued to lose users, showing that being the default no longer provided a significant advantage.

According to California-based analytics vendor Net Applications, Edge’s share of all Windows 10 personal computers and Safari’s share of all Macs dropped to record lows in June. Edge, the default for Microsoft’s newest operating system, was the preferred browser on only 11.8% of all Windows 10 systems. Meanwhile, Safari, the browser packaged with macOS (and before that, OS X), ran on 38.4% of all Mac machines.

Net Applications calculates user share by detecting the agent strings of the browsers people use to visit its clients’ websites. It then tallies the visitor sessions — which are effectively visits to the site, with multiple sessions possible daily — rather than count only users, as it once did. Net Applications thus primarily measures activity, although it does so differently than rival metrics sources, which focus on page views.

Edge’s popularity among Windows 10 users has been in decline since the OS debuted three years ago. A year ago, for example, Edge was the browser of choice for about 22% of all Windows 10 PC users. Two years ago, that number was about 27%.