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Microsoft Edge is tanking

by on18 December 2017

Main users are bots

Software King of the World Microsoft might even have fewer people using its Edge browser than was initially thought.

Analytics firm Net Applications revised its methodology to cull bots from its browser share numbers and found that as much as half of the traffic to Edge on Windows 10 was artificially inflated.

It would appear that the Edge browser is less popular with Windows 10 users than earlier thought.

According to Net Applications of Aliso Viejo, California, Edge has been designated the primary browser by fewer than one in six Windows 10 users for more than a year and a half. That's a significant downgrading of Edge's user share statistics from the browser's portrayal before this month.

During May 2016 and November 2017 Edge was run by between 15.6 percent (in April 2017) and 12.2percent (September 2017) of all Windows 10 users. It never reached 16.7 percent and trended downward overall, starting the period at 14.8 percent (May 2016) and ending it at 13.2 percent (November 2017), an 11 percent decline.

Before Net Applications' methodology modification, Edge was the choice of between 28.5 percent (in May 2016) and 15.7 percent (October 2017) of all Windows 10 users.

Only in the last three months did the preceding data show Edge's place on Windows 10 start to slide, perhaps a sign that Net Applications' new data scheme was implemented before the firm made the news public.

Net Applications said that Bots were skewing data.

“We have seen situations where traffic from certain large countries is almost completely bot traffic. In other countries, ad fraudsters generate traffic that spoofs certain technologies to generate high-value clicks. Or, they heavily favour a particular browser or platform."

Net Applications did its best to scrub the bot traffic from its data, both current and past. "The primary focus ... was to build detection methods to eliminate this traffic," the company said. "We rewrote the entire collection and aggregation infrastructure to address this issue."

The resulting data, which Net Applications implied depicted Edge's real use, showed that the browser was a prime target of bot-wielding scammers.

By comparing Edge's old and new shares, it was evident that bots had faked as much as half of the earlier Edge traffic. The portion of Edge's share credited to bots fluctuated month to month but fell below 30 percent in only four of the 19 months for which Net Applications provided data.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer user share also was overblown, at times more than double the no-bots reality.

IE and Edge accounted for only 16.3 percent of the global user share last month using Net Applications' new calculations

Last modified on 18 December 2017
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