Google's Chrome team has reason to break out the bottles of champagne and fling corks through the office, something Dwight Schrute would never approve of. Why the celebration? Well, according to StatCounter, Chrome managed to unseat Internet Explorer to become the world's most used browser for the first time for a full calendar month in May. But if that's the case, why are corks flying in Microsoft's office as well?
That's because the numbers at NetMarketShare tell a completely different story, one in which Internet Explorer remains the world's top browser with a 54.05 percent share, gaining 1.2 percentage points globally in the past five months. According to NetMarketShare, the closest competitor is Mozilla's Firefox, which sits at a distant second place with a 19.71 percent share, barely ahead of Chrome (in third place), which commands a 19.58 percent share of the market, well ahead of Safari (No. 4) at 4.62 percent, but nowhere near pole position.
If we switch gears back to StatCounter, we're led to believe Chrome holds the browser crown with a 32.43 percent of the market, just ahead of IE, which has a 32.12 percent share. Firefox, meanwhile, is in third place with a 25.55 percent share.
How can the numbers be so different? As our own Brad Chacos explained a couple of weeks back, it has to do with how the browsers are tracked. StatCounter compiles its data based on page views from 3 million websites, whereas NetMarketShare tallies up the number of daily unique visitors from a pool of 40,000 websites.