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Microsoft's revamped Edge browser has a new rendering engine and a focus on business users. Image: Microsoft

Microsoft is announcing today that its Bing search engine and Edge web browser will now focus primarily on business users.

Why it matters: For Bing, the move is a recognition that a years-long effort to take on Google in the broad-based search business has failed. In browsers, meanwhile, the shift is a sign of how far the mighty have fallen: Two decades ago, Microsoft's Internet Explorer dominated the browser market so thoroughly it was seen as a monopoly.

Details: Microsoft is adding new features to the products to enhance their business appeal, including unified web search with search on a company's internal network, as well as new privacy and security features.

"We’re trying to stake a claim of saying we are the best browser and search engine for business users," Longtime Microsoft executive Yusuf Mehdi said in an interview. "We think people who browse the web in general may actually want to use it for their personal lives."That said, not many consumers have been choosing Microsoft for their browsing or search needs.

  • Microsoft's browsers have been losing share for some time, largely to Google's Chrome but also to Firefox and Apple's Safari. Globally, neither IE nor Edge are in the top 5 browsers, with even Opera and Samsung ahead of Microsoft's two offerings. In the U.S., Microsoft fares somewhat better, with Edge the No. 4 browser with nearly 4% of the market and IE holding 3.2%, per StatCounter.
  • In search, Bing has less than 3% of the global market, with Google having more than 90%. In the U.S., Bing holds 6.3%, with Google controlling more than 88%.

In addition to repositioning its Edge browser, Microsoft has been busy swapping out its core rendering engine to use Chromium, the engine that powers Chrome and a number of other browsers.

  • The newly revamped Edge is being made available now as a release candidate, with broad availability scheduled for mid-January.
  • Microsoft is making the announcements at its Ignite conference, which kicks off today in Orlando.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Special report: Trump's U.S.-China transformation

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump began his term by launching the trade war with China he had promised on the campaign trail. By mid-2020, however, Trump was no longer the public face of China policy-making as he became increasingly consumed with domestic troubles, giving his top aides carte blanche to pursue a cascade of tough-on-China policies.

Why it matters: Trump alone did not reshape the China relationship. But his trade war shattered global norms, paving the way for administration officials to pursue policies that just a few years earlier would have been unthinkable.

McConnell: Trump "provoked" Capitol mob

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that the pro-Trump mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was "provoked by the president and other powerful people."

Why it matters: Trump was impeached by the House last week for "incitement of insurrection." McConnell has not said how he will vote in Trump's coming Senate impeachment trial, but sources told Axios' Mike Allen that the chances of him voting to convict are higher than 50%.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP leaders skip Trump sendoff in favor of church with Biden

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in July. Photo by Erin Scott-Pool/Getty Images

Congressional leaders, including House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, will skip President Trump's departure ceremony in Maryland tomorrow morning in favor of attending mass with incoming President Joe Biden ahead of his inauguration, congressional sources familiar with their plans tell Axios.

Why it matters: Their decision is a clear sign of unity before Biden takes the oath of office.

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