Quick Note: IE Reportedly Passed by Chrome -- Skepticism is Warranted
May 22, 2012 2:09 PM
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One market research firm claims Microsoft's browser now trails Google globally, but others disagree
and some other sources
on Tuesday that Microsoft Corp.'s (
) veteran Internet Explorer (IE) browser may have been passed by Google Inc.'s (
) Chrome browser.
Indeed, that's what
, an online tracking firm
, claiming that usage for all versions of IE was 31.94 percent of users on May 20, while Chrome was used by 32.76 percent of users.
But as 19th-century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli said in his quote popularized by U.S. author Mark Twain, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
[Source: Stat Counter]
has long shown third-party browsers to hold a much higher market share than other market research firms.
The latest numbers from
another research firm showed IE to have
approximately 48 percent market share
in April, with Firefox in second place with 19.75 percent, and Chrome in third place with 17.14 percent. These figures are similar to Microsoft's
own reported usage statistics
reckoned IE to have 34.35 percent, Firefox to have 24.85 percent, and Chrome to have 31.09 percent near the end of April.
There are a lot of possible reasons for these discrepancies. One possible cause is that
may favor the kinds of sites visited by individual (home) users, who are more likely to be using a third party browser, versus a business user who is more likely to be using IE. So don't consider IE's downgrade to second place official quite yet, but do take the reports as indication of Google
Chrome's remarkable rise
increasing market traction
Update: Wed. May 23, 2012
A reader "Joe" helpfully chimes in:
We've looked into Chrome for our enterprise, and once we realized what what going on with the statcounters, we stopped. Global Stat's tracks HITS, where as NetmarketShare
and statowl seem to track unique visitors. Global Stat's seems to also not account for Chromes aggressive pre-caching of sites, but the other two do.
That could explain the cause of this unusual and inconsistent result, if accurate.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
5/22/2012 7:45:43 PM
A browser that's baked into the operating system at a very low level, and you think that's better security?
The take-up of IE9 has been pitiful. Not only did MS exclude a massive portion of its userbase (XP users) but they also tied it to a service pack many people couldn't install. All because of the idiotic decision many years ago to bake IE into the OS to get around bans on shipping IE
Microsoft, a browser is just an app. Re-write it accordingly.
to write software for a living, now I architect systems and manage developers. IE is a massive pain in our arses and I'd much prefer that it didn't exist; it very briefly moved us forward a decade ago but since then it's been holding us back.
Admittedly IE9 is less painful than IE8, which is less painful than IE7 and so on. Problem is that the old versions are still used significantly and so have to be supported.
That's not the case with other browsers; there's a bit of a Firefox 3.6 userbase hanging on but other than that you really only need to support the latest versions of each browser.
I'm 41 btw. In today's youth-centric culture that probably means I lose? ;o)
5/23/2012 11:09:32 AM
I agree with it being tied too deeply into the OS. I still avoid .avi files online because I remember when you could load a video and then all sorts of browser windows begin to pop up because you can embed activex commands within the .avi file. That is just something I would rather avoid. With activex disabled in FF by default I feel much safer, then I can easily use NoScript to help control the other scripts that would run allowing only the sites I trust. Maybe that is in the new versions of IE, but I just haven't used them enough to find out if it is that easy to control.
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