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22 May 12 Chrome Browser Usage Artificially Boosted


Tech blogs were abuzz yesterday over the news that Google Chrome had topped Internet Explorer in global browser market share. But the source for this story was StatCounter, which Microsoft has accused of using a somewhat flawed methodology. The other major traffic measurement site, Net Applications, reports IE as having a comfortable 54 percent of browser usage this month, with Firefox in second place with 20.20 percent and Chrome in third with 18.85 percent.

How can the results be so different? While StatCounter reported Chrome as being on top last week, even that traffic measuring site has IE back on top this week. But the real problem is just what StatCounter counts: pre-rendered Web pages that the user never saw. When a Chrome user types in a Google search, Chrome pre-loads an invisible tab in the background. StatCounter still counts this as a page view. By comparison, Net Applications removes these artificial results, as the company explained on its site.

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The Microsoft blog post also pointed out that Net Applications, unlike StatCounter, weights results by a country’s Internet-using population. Since these measuring companies depend on the number of sites using their service, this can be skewed by how many such installations exist in a given country. For example, in StatCounter’s data, Turkey is the number-two Internet-using country, and its results are based on that, while CIA data shows Turkey actually to be the fifteenth largest Internet-using country.

Another perhaps even more important factor is that StatCounter doesn’t count by unique browsers, but rather by sheer traffic volume. The volume can be artificially boosted by single computers hitting an inordinate number of web pages.

The rise in Google Chrome usage has certainly been meteoric, propelled by a button on Google’s market-dominating search site asking people to download it. And the writing may be on the wall for its ascendency. But it’s still too early to crown the only major browser without a Do Not Track feature as king of browser usage.

Update: As the first commenter points out below, if you hover your mouse along StatCounter’s graph line representing Chrome, at one point you’ll see a large tooltip box stating that the site now does indeed filter out prerendered pages in Chrome. However, StatCounter’s use of all page views rather than unique browsers still skews the results, as does the lopsided geographical representation.

For more, see PCMag’s review of Chrome 18 (slideshow above), IE9, and Firefox 12.

For more from Michael, follow him on Twitter @mikemuch.

For the top stories in tech, follow us on Twitter at @PCMag.

Article source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2404714,00.asp

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22 May 12 Chrome Browser Usage Artificially Boosted


Tech blogs were abuzz yesterday over the news that Google Chrome had topped Internet Explorer in global browser market share. But the source for this story was StatCounter, which Microsoft has accused of using a somewhat flawed methodology. The other major traffic measurement site, Net Applications, reports IE as having a comfortable 54 percent of browser usage this month, with Firefox in second place with 20.20 percent and Chrome in third with 18.85 percent.

How can the results be so different? While StatCounter reported Chrome as being on top last week, even that traffic measuring site has IE back on top this week. But the real problem is just what StatCounter counts: pre-rendered Web pages that the user never saw. When a Chrome user types in a Google search, Chrome pre-loads an invisible tab in the background. StatCounter still counts this as a page view. By comparison, Net Applications removes these artificial results, as the company explained on its site.


View Slideshow
See all (23) slides


Malware Download Protection


Add New User


Syncing Choices


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The Microsoft blog post also pointed out that Net Applications, unlike StatCounter, weights results by a country’s Internet-using population. Since these measuring companies depend on the number of sites using their service, this can be skewed by how many such installations exist in a given country. For example, in StatCounter’s data, Turkey is the number-two Internet-using country, and its results are based on that, while CIA data shows Turkey actually to be the fifteenth largest Internet-using country.

Another perhaps even more important factor is that StatCounter doesn’t count by unique browsers, but rather by sheer traffic volume. The volume can be artificially boosted by bots that generate huge amounts of Web traffic.

The rise in Google Chrome usage has certainly been meteoric, propelled by a button on Google’s market-dominating search site asking people to download it. And the writing may be on the wall for its ascendency. But it’s still too early to crown the only major browser without a Do Not Track feature as king of browser usage.

For more, see PCMag’s review of Chrome 18 (slideshow above), IE9, and Firefox 12.

For more from Michael, follow him on Twitter @mikemuch.

For the top stories in tech, follow us on Twitter at @PCMag.

Article source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2404714,00.asp?kc=PCRSS03069TX1K0001121

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01 Feb 12 IE fends off rivals, but absent from mobile battlefield


Net Applications January 2012 statistics show the increasing use of tablets and phones compared for Web browsing.

Net Applications’ January 2012 statistics show the increasing use of tablets and phones compared for Web browsing.

(Credit:
Net Applications)

Internet Explorer staved off rival browsers on personal computers in the first month of 2011, but a new battlefield is emerging where Microsoft has virtually no presence today: mobile.

Among personal computers, IE reclaimed a chunk the global browser usage, rising from 51.9 percent in December to 53 percent in January, according to new statistics from Net Applications.

However, while browsing with desktops and laptops dominates, mobile devices are catching up. Smartphones and
tablets accounted for an all-time high of 8.8 percent of browsing in January, up from 7.7 percent the month earlier.

And on mobile, Microsoft’s presence is close to nothing right now. The mobile version of IE9, which ships with Windows Phone, accounted for 0.2 percent of
mobile browser usage in January, Net Applications said. Adding in earlier mobile versions of IE brings that up to 0.3 percent, matching Amazon’s new Silk browser used in its
Android-based Kindle Fire tablets.

Net Applications January 2012 statistics for browser usage share on mobile devices.

Net Applications’ January 2012 statistics for browser usage share on mobile devices.

(Credit:
Net Applications)

For comparison, iOS leads here, with 54.9 percent of usage. Opera Mini at 19.6 percent is in second place and overall shrinking gradually; the Android browser is generally rising and reached 17.8 percent.

The rise of tablets means these statistics could look different a year from now. Tablets, with their relatively large screens, are in many ways are used like personal computers when it comes to browsing. And tablets are less likely to be used on the road than mobile phones that easily fit in a pocket or purse. One more big change: in coming months, the tablet category will include Windows 8 devices that blur the boundaries with PCs even more.

On traditional personal computers, Chrome has been on its way to pushing aside Firefox for the No. 2 spot, but the trend was interrupted in January. Firefox dropped from 21.8 percent to 20.9 percent, while Chrome dropped from 19.1 percent to 18.9 percent. Apple’s Safari slipped a smidgen from 5.0 percent to 4.9 percent.

Net Applications January 2012 statistics for browser usage share on personal computers.

Net Applications’ January 2012 statistics for browser usage share on personal computers.

(Credit:
Net Applications)

Microsoft is keen to replace IE6 with IE9 and, when Windows 8 arrives later this year, IE10. IE8 is still the single most used browser version, at 27.9 percent, but IE9 is rising and in January reached 11.6 percent.

Global usage of IE6, the browser that’s moved from dominant to derided over its decade-long history, slipped in usage to 7.7 percent in January, according to the Net Applications data that Microsoft publishes at its IE6 Countdown site.

Microsoft uses the site to track IE6′s demise and encourage people to move away. Far and away the biggest holdout remains China, where IE6 usage remains about the same at 25.2 percent.

China remains a major user of Internet Explorer 6.

China remains a major user of Internet Explorer 6.

(Credit:
IE6 Countdown/Net Applications)

Net Applications measurements are based on its network of 40,000 Web sites using its analytics software. The company measures monitors daily usage from individuals making about 160 million visits to Web pages per month. The company adjusts its results to account for discrepancies in its own data and the CIA’s measurements of country-by-country Internet usage.

Another site, StatCounter, also monitors global browser usage. It measures aggregate browser usage on its network of sites, not trying to weight by country use or to screen by unique users. So in the case where an individual loaded 25 pages from a Web site on a particular day, Net Applications would tally it only as one individual for that day, but StatCounter would count 25 page views.

By StatCounter’s measurements, IE has slipped down well below 40 percent of usage and Chrome has surpassed Firefox and is almost at 30 percent of usage.

StatCounter shows Chrome surpassing Firefox in late 2011.

StatCounter shows Chrome surpassing Firefox in late 2011.

(Credit:
StatCounter)

Article source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-57369393-264/ie-fends-off-rivals-but-absent-from-mobile-battlefield/

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