Microsoft Edge is dead—long live Microsoft Edge


Enlarge / There can be only one.

Jim Salter

Microsoft officially ended support for the legacy (non-Chromium-derived) Edge browser this week. The death of legacy Edge was first announced in August 2020, with the end-of-life date set to March 9, 2021—this Tuesday.

The deprecated version of Edge, originally named Project Spartan, was developed and shipped as Windows 10’s default browser in 2015. Unlike the current, Chromium-based Edge, it had no upstream project—the entire browser, up to and including the rendering engine, was a Microsoft design.

Despite being Windows 10’s default browser, Spartan never achieved significant marketshare, let alone the crushing dominance once enjoyed by Internet Explorer. According to GlobalStats, legacy Edge peaked at well below 2.5 percent marketshare—less than, for example, Opera. By contrast, and despite its relative newborn status, Chromium-based Edge has already hit 3.4 percent—closing in on Firefox’s much-diminished 3.8 percent, as of February 2021.

Windows Update is scheduled to automatically remove Legacy Edge on next month’s Patch Tuesday. If you have any family—or colleagues who need a little “extra support”—who are still depending on Legacy Edge, it might be a good time to check in on them and do a little hand-holding before the old beast is gone forever.

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