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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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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

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Fall and winter COVID surge "unlikely" if people get vaccinated.
  2. Politics: School boards are the next political battleground.
  3. Vaccines: Pfizer begins application for full FDA vaccine approval — Moderna says its COVID booster shot shows promise against variants.
  4. Economy: U.S. adds just 266,000 jobs in April, far below expectations.
  5. World: Asia faces massive new COVID surgeIndia records its deadliest day of the pandemic.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Kevin McCarthy officially endorses Elise Stefanik to replace Liz Cheney

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) officially endorsed Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) to become the GOP's next House Republican conference chair during a Fox News appearance Sunday.

Why it matters: The GOP has been feuding internally over the fate of the current chair, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), because of her criticisms of former President Donald Trump, and her vote to impeach him for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Fauci: Vaccines could turn COVID-19 "surges" into "blips"

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "Meet the Press" Sunday that if more Americans get vaccinated in accordance with the Biden administration's goals, COVID-19 surges may be replaced by "blips."

State of play: Last week President Joe Biden announced his goal to get 160 million Americans fully vaccinated by July 4, with at least 70% of Americans having at least one shot.

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