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Microsoft loses about 40 million Internet Explorer users in one month

Despite continued updates and improvements to its Edge browser, Microsoft can’t seem to hold on to users as they transition from various versions of Internet Explorer. The latest figures suggest that in October alone, Microsoft shed some 40 million users, with the likes of Chrome and Firefox scooping them up.

Looking at the latest data from NetMarketShare, Chrome is still the undisputed king of the hill, boasting the kind of percentages Microsoft used to enjoy — with a 55 percent market share at the end of October. It found an extra 0.58 percent from the likes of Internet Explorer, which dropped a surprising 2.5 percent — equivalent to about 40 million users, per ComputerWorld.

But where did the rest of those users go? Mostly, it seems, to Firefox. It managed to increase its share of the market to 11.14 percent over its 9.19 September share.

Related: Here’s how to fix 18 common problems with Microsoft Edge

That is quite a surprising turn, considering 2016 has not been Firefox’s best. Its user base has fluctuated frequently, bottoming out at 7.69 percent in August, but it quickly recovered. Perhaps that is thanks to its introductions of sandboxed tabs and an in-development new browser engine.

Regardless, the largest shift came from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Though you might have expected a large number of those turncoats to adopt Microsoft Edge instead, they did not. While the new face of Microsoft’s web portal was been steadily growing since its introduction with Windows 10 in mid-2015, it has not seen any real spikes in user adoption. Following this most recent exodus from the old IE standards, Edge saw just a 0.1-percent increase in its user share.

Considering the ease Microsoft has in marketing its browsers to users compared to Chrome or Firefox, this is rather surprising. It has spent much of 2016 seeing its browser dominance overtaken easily by Chrome, which overtook the multiple different versions of Internet Explorer in April.

At the end of 2015, Microsoft’s total browser share was comparable to Chrome’s now and yet as we close out 2016, it has been reduced to barely a quarter. While it is unknown whether Firefox’s share can continue its upswing it has experienced lately, it seems Microsoft’s overall share will continue to diminish.