Quick Note: IE Reportedly Passed by Chrome -- Skepticism is Warranted
May 22, 2012 2:09 PM
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.
"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser
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