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Chrome Browser Usage Artificially Boosted, Says Microsoft

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the depends-who's-counting dept.

Chrome 272

bonch writes "Chrome was recently called the world's no.1 browser, but Microsoft is accusing the source, StatCounter, of using flawed methodology. When a user enters a search in Chrome, the browser preloads an invisible tab not shown to the user, and these were being counted by StatCounter. Net Applications, another usage tracking group, ignores these invisible tabs and reports IE at 54%, Firefox at 20.20%, and Chrome at 18.85%." Whereas the saturation of MSIE is totally organic, right?

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I thought this was already refuted? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40087267)

StatCounter does not tally pre-loaded pages.

Re:I thought this was already refuted? (4, Informative)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087357)

This might be what you are referring to:

"Last month, Net Applications began removing Chrome prerendered browsing traffic from its statistics, noting that “prerendering in February 2012 accounted for 4.3% of Chrome's daily unique visitors.” In doing so Net Applications became the first company to adjust its data reports for websites"

Re:I thought this was already refuted? (0, Troll)

PartOfElite (2646065) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087429)

Yep, it even says so in the summary. He doesn't get that there are more than one statistics services.

It seems that Net Applications tracks more accurately too, because they ignore Google's inflating tricks:
IE at 54%, Firefox at 20.20%, and Chrome at 18.85%

Re:I thought this was already refuted? (4, Interesting)

Calos (2281322) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087715)

Huh? The whole point of the GGP's post was that they recognize that there are other statistics services and to point out that those other services also claim that they ignore "Google's inflating tricks" - which, regardless, are not tricks meant to fool stats but to make things faster.

Re:I thought this was already refuted? (4, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088033)

Not to mention the thing that has most likely got MSFT worried which is that....NOBODY CARES, they really don't. This is one thing I have to give Moz credit for, because even though I no longer use their browser (I use a Chromium variant call Dragon) they were the ones that FINALLY got websites away from the "works best in IE" bullshit.

Now it doesn't really matter WHAT you use, its all the same. They all render the same pages, they all have roughly the same behavior, so the only ones that care about this little pissing contest is the corps themselves. as far as the users are concerned they honestly don't give a shit if what they are using is IE, Chrome, FF, dragon, QTWeb, Opera, whatever, it all "just works" and for that I say thank fucking God that it does.

Re:I thought this was already refuted? (2, Interesting)

gsnedders (928327) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088389)

Except that's not the case. Go to any Google website in Opera: it looks different. Why? UA sniffing. Go to Facebook in Opera Mobile: it looks different. Why? UA sniffing.

In both cases Opera functions fine if you change the UA string. Sadly, evangelism isn't enough to fix everything.

Re:I thought this was already refuted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40087655)

And laptops pre-load M$, so should we discount that?

Re:I thought this was already refuted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40087679)

No, because some people still use it. That would be like discounting firefox because it comes default with many Linux distros.

Re:I thought this was already refuted? (1, Troll)

PartOfElite (2646065) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087693)

Actually, many manufacturers pre-load Chrome now as Google pays them to. It's extra revenue for them, just like pre-loading Norton trial and so on.

On top of that Google also pays shareware and freeware authors to bundle Chrome in their installs, just like BonziBUDDY and all those other adware and spyware apps used to do.

Re:I thought this was already refuted? (1)

geirlk (171706) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088065)

My wish is that MS would stop bundling their OS with a browser most use for downloading a browser, and actually bundled it with eg. Firefox instead.

Re:I thought this was already refuted? (4, Informative)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087379)

Ignore my sibling post, this is what I meant to grab:

"NOTE: StatCounter recently announced that they have updated their data as of May 1, 2012 to reflect prerendering in Chrome. However, there is no indication of either methodology or what percentage of Chrome share is being removed from StatCounter data."

Re:I thought this was already refuted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40087435)

Yes, that was what I was referring to. Thanks.

Re:I thought this was already refuted? (5, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088115)

Do you think Microsoft cares? They just want to spin the story to cover-up IE's downfall, and don't care if they have to LIE about StatCounter's methodology (claiming they count preloads, when they don't).

Re:I thought this was already refuted? (1)

ProbablyJoe (1914672) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088379)

So are MS just complaining about a problem which was already fixed before Chrome topped IE in their rankings? That's how it sounds at least.

From StatCounter's FAQ, and also noted on all of their graphs for this time period:

"Further to a significant number of user requests, we are now adjusting our browser stats to remove the effect of prerendering in Google Chrome. From 1 May 2012, prerendered pages (which are not actually viewed) are not included in our stats."

http://gs.statcounter.com/faq#prerendering [statcounter.com]

Re:I thought this was already refuted? (5, Funny)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087609)

Wait one fucking second

"bonch wites"

Theres our problem.

Re:I thought this was already refuted? (0)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088425)

lols

Google has this habit (4, Interesting)

PartOfElite (2646065) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087269)

It's not only Chrome - they try to inflate Google+ user count also, by counting every single Google service - including search engine and YouTube - as part of Google+. Then they boast user counts of like 100 million while the users have been nowhere near Google+ itself and it's perfectly clear there's not that kind of users. It's part of their marketing.

Re:Google has this habit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40087467)

This. Google is as slimy as they come :(

Re:Google has this habit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40087743)

Inflating user numbers hardly makes the company slimy. Of all the things to get up in arms about, this is not one of them.

Maybe if you're a shareholder you should find this more troubling, but otherwise as an end-user consuming their services, hardly.

Re:Google has this habit (4, Interesting)

spacepimp (664856) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087525)

That is part of the misunderstanding people have about Google+. Google plus isn't a Facebook competitor. The way Google has been spinning it is that it is the integration of all of Googles services into a more central account base. Youtube, maps, gmail, google+ accounts, gchat, google music, have been consolidated. they are all part of Google+. People want it to be a street fight between Facebook and G+, so they see it for what they want it to be. You can argue that Google muddies the water by doing this, but to not streamline these services is counter intuitive, and difficult to manage.
Before Steve Jobs died he met with Larry Page and offered advice. Cutting the cruft and tying their products into a cohesive ecosystem are likely the advice he offered.

Re:Google has this habit (3, Interesting)

Shadowmist (57488) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087775)

That is part of the misunderstanding people have about Google+. Google plus isn't a Facebook competitor.

I remember that earlier versions of Picasa had options on sharing your photos with Facebook. Those options got yanked not that long before Google Plus was launched. So I don't think the idea of competing with Facebook is that far from the truth.

Re:Google has this habit (4, Interesting)

spacepimp (664856) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088073)

That is part of the misunderstanding people have about Google+. Google plus isn't a Facebook competitor.

I remember that earlier versions of Picasa had options on sharing your photos with Facebook. Those options got yanked not that long before Google Plus was launched. So I don't think the idea of competing with Facebook is that far from the truth.

I guess the wording could have been more precise on my part. let me restate it: Google+ isn't just a social network. It is the comprehensive unification of Google services into a more tightly knit ecosystem. Does it compete with Facebook? Yes, but in thinking of Google+ strictly a social network to compete with Facebook is missing the bigger picture. Maybe they will become more alike in the future as Facebook broadens it's scope.

Re:Google has this habit (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088071)

And... Steve Jobs was never wrong?

Re:Google has this habit (3, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087569)

And it's not only Google, MS does similar things. Take their search engine. I don't know how many times I've been sent to Bing when clicking on a link not remotely related to Bing. Does anybody actually use Bing on purpose?

Every company is sleazy, including Google. Some are sleazier than others, of course (IMO the sleaziest tech company is Sony).

Re:Google has this habit (2)

PartOfElite (2646065) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087619)

In that case it balances out because Google does exactly the same. If you search on their other services, then many of them send you to the search engine. Google also offers sites their own "custom search" things and widgets that can be used to search that specific site (which just sends the user to Google with site: parameter). Google actually does this far more than Bing.

Re:Google has this habit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40087985)

It's not Google that does this, but the owners of those sites. And the same goes for MS. I'm sorry, are we blaming companies now for the choices of others? In that case, I'm gonna rob a bank. But don't worry, it's Oracle's fault. They made me do it. Really.

Re:Google has this habit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40087957)

Some of us use other search engine's because of Google's massive Don't Be Evil Fail.

But you can't say that on Slashdot.

Re:Google has this habit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40087983)

Does anybody actually use Bing on purpose?

I do. They usually have good quality nature pictures. Can't get rid of the search box though.

Re:Google has this habit (5, Funny)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087643)

That's nothing, Facebook has this habit of paying people to troll Google on Slashdot!

bonch has this habit (3, Informative)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088189)

That's nothing, Facebook has this habit of paying people to troll Google on Slashdot!

Possibly not in this case. The person who posted the story was bonch, who appears to post questionable stuff in favor of MS and against Google.

Re:Google has this habit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40088205)

I just got my internet money today from Facebook

Re:Google has this habit (1)

Fastolfe (1470) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088149)

What makes you think Google had anything whatsoever to do with this?

Gotta love the commentary last sentence (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40087279)

Regardless of how the market share was gained, duplicate counting inflates numbers. Get over it, Timmy.

Kinda funny how editors don't give a shit about editing, but when they want to put in some of their own editorial commenting that have no problem with it.

Re:Gotta love the commentary last sentence (1, Troll)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087365)

I kinda felt bad for the editor on that one. It felt like some school yard debate that ends with the loser saying "Oh yeah? Oh yeah? Yeah? Well, uh, at least I don't have a gay haircut".

Come to think of it, I'm a little concerned our next President might be someone who once did actually debate like that.

Re:Gotta love the commentary last sentence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40087577)

Come to think of it, I'm a little concerned our next President might be someone who once did actually debate like that.

Once did? More than likely still does.

Re:Gotta love the commentary last sentence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40087833)

As opposed to a President that eats dogs and beats up people smaller than him?

Nice consistency in morals.

Re:Gotta love the commentary last sentence (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088005)

How is eating dogs morally different from eating cows or pig or salmon?

Heck, dogs are the go to meat/bones supply for my fortresses of dwarfs.

Re:Gotta love the commentary last sentence (1)

mstefanro (1965558) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088303)

Dogs are more cute.

Re:Gotta love the commentary last sentence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40088153)

Never heard either allegation, and to be honest, I don't think either would have been remotely relevant to the joke I made above (Joke, moderators, not troll.)

I assume you get upset every time Conan makes a joke about Romney acting robotically. "But... but... why not mention GORE! GORE!" you yell at your TV, despite Gore not running in this election.

but coming pre-loaded... (1, Interesting)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087297)

is not at all artificially inflating the numbers.

or what about MS specific webapps such as their CRM system? I mean I could see if opera were the company that was making the complaint.

Re:but coming pre-loaded... (1)

PartOfElite (2646065) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087361)

What are you talking about? It's not about coming pre-loaded and bundled with every piece of shareware and freeware software, it's about preloading links and web pages as user browses the internet..

Re:but coming pre-loaded... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40087417)

but it makes it faster, thats all that counts right? Nevermind the caps and inflated numbers.

Re:but coming pre-loaded... (1)

PartOfElite (2646065) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087489)

It doesn't necessarily make it faster. It eats up lots of bandwidth. I'm on a poor connection and doing stuff like that slows down the whole internet.

It's also dubious that Google boasts their market share with these inflated numbers...

And what if one of the search results contain child porn or something else illegal? That's a nice way to get you to be suspect and your home raided.

Re:Prerendering (1)

DocSavage64109 (799754) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087829)

I was thinking the same thing. The stats indicate that Chrome is using more bandwidth and resources than IE despite having 1/3 the install base. Seems inefficient.

Re:but coming pre-loaded... (3, Funny)

Sepodati (746220) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088373)

>> I'm on a poor connection and doing stuff like that slows down the whole internet.

Yes... I noticed the entire internet slow down when you searched earlier. Please stop.

>> It's also dubious that Google boasts their market share with these inflated numbers...

So you think it's doubtful or questionable that Google does this? So do I.

>> And what if one of the search results contain ...

OMG THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!

At least you earned your shill paycheck today.

Re:but coming pre-loaded... (1)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087571)

I was not very clear, I was actually talking about IE coming preloaded on windows causing MS marketshare to be artificially high. My apologies, its early

Re:but coming pre-loaded... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40087401)

In the same way that our being pre-loaded with lungs means people will "artificially inflate" the number of air-breathing humans.

Windows comes with IE. There have been obvious and viable alternatives for years. Get over it.

Re:but coming pre-loaded... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40087653)

I guess safari and firefox numbers shouldn't count either as they come with the next 2 most popular OSs in the world while there have been obvious and viable alternatives for years.
 
The fact of the matter is that no OS that is meant for the masses is going to come without a pre-installed browser. While a PC can run fine without one and one can get selected by the user and installed without the use of another browser, it's just not going to happen. Get over it.

Re:but coming pre-loaded... (2)

Dan East (318230) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087749)

The method in which a user ends up with a browser - by default or by choice, etc - is a whole different topic. What is important for web developers are accurate statistics. I agree with MS on this one, because it sounds like the stats were quite skewed by page preloading, etc. How people ended up with IE doesn't change who is actually using what. I'm trying to figure out why Firefox and Chrome usage is so low on iPad devices - it's quite an anomaly - but again, that's a whole different topic.

(to save those who don't grasp subtle sarcastic humor, my comment about iPad browsers is totally tongue-in-cheek)

This makes sense (2)

The Dancing Panda (1321121) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087305)

It seems like kind of a quick jump otherwise.

IE saturation Organic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40087313)

Hah, yeah right! Totally organic....

It really does not matter... (5, Funny)

hackula (2596247) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087395)

...Lynx rules all the browsers anyway.

Re:It really does not matter... (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087509)

Am I the only one still using Cello?

Hello...anyone?

Re:It really does not matter... (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088077)

Probably. I couldn't even get it to run on any of my "vintage" virtual machines, let alone render any websites.

Re:It really does not matter... (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087521)

Lynx? Luxury. We had to do everything with telnet.

Re:It really does not matter... (1)

kno3 (1327725) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088281)

And you try and tell the young people of today that ..... they won't believe you.

Re:It really does not matter... (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088293)

elinks has mouse and javascript support. Just saying.

Re:It really does not matter... (1)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088391)

At one point at school I was using Charlotte a text mode webbrowser on a mainframe. I also maintained a price list on our webserver, and I had to test on Charlotte to make sure it was readable there.

Surprisingly it seems to still exist [ibm.com] and updated shockingly recently.

Wait a second (1, Insightful)

Yebyen (59663) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087421)

As usual, the summary makes no sense at all.

So, Google Chrome users who search on Google are counted as users, but they should not be counted?

Or, they are being counted twice? Or are they being counted for the number of tabs they have open?

What's an "invisible tab?" I don't want to read the article, but I don't understand how it inflates the actual number of chrome users. If the summary indicates what the article actually says, then there's no reason to discount these users, as they're not "actually not running Chrome"

Hanging chads!!!!

Re:Wait a second (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40087479)

Chrome automatically loads some of the links on the page you are reading in the background, so that when you click on one of those links, it already has the page mostly ready. So when the user reads one page, "the web" sees several pages being loaded.

Slashdot 10 years later, what has changed. Microsoft still the evil empire, Google still the darling startup, and nobody can be bothered to read the article when it's about evil M$.

Re:Wait a second (5, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087517)

What's an "invisible tab?" I don't want to read the article, but I don't understand how it inflates the actual number of chrome users

I think you said it all right there...

Re:Wait a second (2)

Yebyen (59663) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087549)

Did you look at the article? Geolocation weighting? It's bloody five pages.

I don't come to Slashdot for the articles :)

Re:Wait a second (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40087901)

I don't come to Slashdot for the articles :)

Then you'll have to settle for snarky responses. Glad to oblige.

Re:Wait a second (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40087995)

Yea! (He|She) comes for the abuse!

Now... hit (him|her) again! HARDER! NOW SPIN THE WHEEL!!! SPIN IT!!!!

Re:Wait a second (1)

PartOfElite (2646065) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087573)

Neither StatCounter or Net Applications have access to all the sites on the internet. How would they? Instead, they track data using their own analytics services and such that webmasters can use. By preloading every page on search results and when moving around the internet, Chrome greatly increases their changes of being picked up those statistics services.

On top of that it also directly inflates the usage amount as now there's 10x more hits than with other browsers.

Re:Wait a second (1)

Yebyen (59663) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087977)

Don't those analytic services load an IFrame or some trick enough to get at their own statcounter cookies, and uniquely identify the user (seat)?

Yes, it would increase the chance that you get picked up and noticed as a user, but I don't see this being a problem for IE, since you only have to be noticed once to get counted. This "invisible tabs" isn't something I see throwing the count into 10x territory since that user would still be uniquely identified by the tracking cookies. So I visit 10x as many sites (silently, in the background) as a Chrome user, generating more traffic.

I'm not spawning guest VMs that have additional instances of Chrome, and keep their own separate cookie stores. (OK, so I am, but not because Chrome did it for me. This is not a feature of Chrome. IE users are probably equally likely to have extra IE machines.) Why does any of this make me any more difficult to identify and count by IP/cookies, or skew the numbers in favor of Chrome?

Chrome all the way (0)

imasmiley88 (2638861) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087477)

Is this one of the ways of Microsoft to take down Google? I love Microsoft and I even use Win 7. But I just hate it every time they try to take down Google. Just accept that almost everyone uses Chrome and no one will use IE.

As opposed to what? Naturally boosted on the web? (1)

BMOC (2478408) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087543)

There's something "natural" on a completely artificial construct?

Re:As opposed to what? Naturally boosted on the we (1)

Millennium (2451) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087661)

If we're going to be pedantic, would you prefer "emergent vs. engineered" to "organic vs. artificial"?

Re:As opposed to what? Naturally boosted on the we (1)

BMOC (2478408) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088089)

Actually yes, and I'm not ashamed of my preference.

Wrong conclusion (1)

Old97 (1341297) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087547)

In any case isn't what is being counted is page loads, not users? IE has more users because most computer users have IE. Mozilla and Chrome users may be more savvy and may actually use the internet more than IE users. It makes sense that if you care that much about the internet you probably have strong opinions about the browser you are using. If your company is trying to reach users you may want to know the percentage of users each browser accounts for. If your company is trying to reach the more engaged users you might be interested in page loads. This is similar to the android/iphone marketshare nonsense. Iphone users access the internet from their phones more than android users. More people own android devices than iphone devices. Everyone claims victory.

Re:Wrong conclusion (1)

PartOfElite (2646065) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087659)

Since neither StatCounter or Net Applications have access to every site on the internet, Chrome's preloading greatly increases their change of being picked up by either service. This inflates the numbers.

Re:Wrong conclusion (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088245)

In any case isn't what is being counted is page loads, not users?

Many firms measure page views, Net Applications (which shows IE in the lead) counts unique users.

Which is more important depends on what you plan on doing with the numbers (abstract "my browser is bigger than yours comparisons" not tied to any actual useful purpose can use either equally.)

Dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40087563)

Whereas the saturation of MSIE is totally organic, right?

That has fuckall to do with anything. You might not like the fact that IE was bundled with every copy of Windows, but that doesn't mean they executed behind the scenes shenanigans to inflate their numbers.

Slashdot: butthurt about Microsoft since 1998.

Re:Dumb (2)

Millennium (2451) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087629)

One could argue that the bundling was the "behind-the-scenes shenanigans to inflate their numbers," particularly given common browser bundling practice at the time (also known as not doing it). That argument would be much weaker in today's environment, where everyone bundles a browser, but Microsoft's decision was not made in that environment.

Canadian stats (4, Informative)

GabboFlabbo (595073) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087613)

Stats from a website which has mostly Canadian viewers:

Unique Users for the past 30 days
1.IE         66,554    42.21%
2.Safari     37,213    23.60%
3.Firefox    20,703    13.13%
4.Chrome     14,552    9.23%
5.Android    3,736    2.37%

*source: google analytics

I kind of agree (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40087621)

I can't think of anyone's computer Ive seen recently that has been using Chrome, it's all Firefox or IE and one computer had Safari on Windows (Dont know why)

On The Other Hand, Could It Be... (4, Interesting)

EXTomar (78739) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087627)

Could it be that Chrome is on every Android platform and Android is on a lot of things? Many more pieces of hardware than Windows Mobile. Although I am a little dubious of the claim that "Chrome is #1" the growth makes a lot of sense where it has nothing to do with "hidden tabs" but that the installbase has exploded.

Re:On The Other Hand, Could It Be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40087671)

Chrome is not on every Android platform. Android's had a generic non-Chrome browser for most of its life, and only recently has it been available to some new Android devices.

Re:On The Other Hand, Could It Be... (1)

Loosifur (954968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088021)

I've used a Droid, an Eris, and now have an Incredible. I use the Chrome sync feature, and I seem to recall that carrying over from the Droid up to the Incredible. Are you sure the default browser isn't Chrome, maybe just without the branding?

Re:On The Other Hand, Could It Be... (1)

ProbablyJoe (1914672) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088291)

It's Webkit based, and that's about where the similarities end (so is Safari and a lot of minor browsers). You could say the same about Chrome for Android too really, there's nothing particularly "Chrome" about it besides the branding. Not sure what sync feature you're referring to, but I think it's probably more of a Google account thing rather than a Chrome browser thing, there were definitely things like that before Chrome was released for Android.

The User Agent doesn't specify it as Chrome anyway, and I believe that they count mobile browsers seperately. Even if it is included, Android browsing only accounts for about 2% of the total (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_web_browsers#StatCounter_.28July_2008_to_present.29), so it's not really significant enough to sway things.

Re:On The Other Hand, Could It Be... (2)

Sancho (17056) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088347)

I got a Droid about 3 months after they came out. They definitely weren't using Chrome. It was one of my gripes. Chrome for Android was released in Beta 4-5 months ago. Before that, you just had Browser. Both can coexist on a phone.

The fourth FAQ here indicates that they are different: https://developers.google.com/chrome/mobile/docs/faq [google.com]

Wikimedia stats agree with StatCounter (4, Informative)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087635)

The Wikimedia browser stats [wikimedia.org] pretty much match the StatCounter ones: 25.36% IE, 24.99% Chrome.

Note that Wikimedia is (a) a top-10 site with a broad general international readership (b) a charity with no direct interest in the question of "which browser wins?" but only in knowing the actual answers, so as to serve the readers.

Re:Wikimedia stats agree with StatCounter (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40087763)

The Wikimedia browser stats [wikimedia.org] pretty much match the StatCounter ones: 25.36% IE, 24.99% Chrome.

Note that Wikimedia is (a) a top-10 site with a broad general international readership (b) a charity with no direct interest in the question of "which browser wins?" but only in knowing the actual answers, so as to serve the readers.

Nevertheless, their stats could still be inflated artificially by browsers doing pre-rendering, which is where the discrepancy is claimed to come from.

Re:Wikimedia stats agree with StatCounter (2)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087915)

Quite possibly, yes. Those are raw numbers from the Squid caches (a sample of 1 in 1000 hits).

Re:Wikimedia stats agree with StatCounter (1)

PartOfElite (2646065) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087769)

Wikipedia comes up in almost every search query on Google. Chrome heavily inflates their numbers too.

NETSCAPE (1)

rullywowr (1831632) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087771)

I am typing this on netscape at the moment and I totally agree with th ^^^^NO CARRIER

Just adblock lowlives like StatCounter (4, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087835)

You can't use a browser without adblock these days and retain sanity. And unless you decide to throw away your privacy, you'll block trackers like Google Analytics or StatCounter.

So join me on the mission: drive apparent Firefox usage stats to 0.

Geo Weighted (1)

medv4380 (1604309) | more than 2 years ago | (#40087907)

What is country level weighting, and why do you do it?
The Net Market Share data is weighted by country. We compare our traffic to the CIA Internet Traffic by Country table, and weight our data accordingly. For example, if our global data shows that Brazil represents 2% of our traffic, and the CIA table shows Brazil to represent 4% of global Internet traffic, we will count each unique visitor from Brazil twice. This is done to balance out our global data. All regions have differing markets, and if our traffic were concentrated in one or more regions, our global data would be inappropriately affected by those regions. Country level weighting removes any bias by region.

So I'm to trust numbers that I know have a flawed methodology?
Why not these then
http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp [w3schools.com]
Oh, but weight, stat counter started removing chrome over counts.

Further to a significant number of user requests, we are now adjusting our browser stats to remove the effect of prerendering in Google Chrome. From 1 May 2012, prerendered pages (which are not actually viewed) are not included in our stats.

IE is totally fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40088013)

So the fact that I have to open up IE to go download another browser isn't getting counted at all either correct? Unless you're saying my act of clearly choosing an alternative as some means of support of your browser. How about instead of preloading a browser you give me a link of which browser I'd like to download and install during the OS install so I can pick which browser I really want.

Other sources agree with Statcounter (4, Informative)

JOrgePeixoto (853808) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088023)

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_browser_market_share#Summary_table [wikipedia.org]

In the data for April, only Net Applications put MSIE significant ahead of Google Chrome. The other 3 sources, on average, give *lower* usage of MSIE than Stat Counter.

Aggressive promotion (1)

slasho81 (455509) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088051)

Eventually Chrome will rule the market. Google promotes it aggressively from their homepage. Under today's musical doodle was this text: "Upgrade to a modern browser and see what this doodle can really do." I'm on Firefox 12, by the way.

Google Chrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40088083)

Google Chrome currently top the chart of all the web browsers that I have used before and even now it even accelerated my site http://www.upnaija.com thanks to GOOGLE

The statistics are done by VISIBLE tabs??? (1)

gradinaruvasile (2438470) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088095)

I was under the impression that counting browser share is done by taking a sites visitors and identifying the ACTUAL number of users of each browser. But then i read that page hits are counted and hidden tabs are skewing results. Ok , so i use browser X and i have tons of tabs open, HIDDEN OR NOT, does that mean that i somewhat contribute to artificial inflation of my browsers share? Because as i understand it browser share should indicate the usage of a browser by actual people and NOT the amount of VISIBLE tabs opened by them. By this metric, people like my wife are essentially skewing the results (she has the habit of opening 50 or more tabs)? Additionally netstat uses weighting that takes this whole counting thing into a more "controllable" area - just downgrade country x, upgrade country y and voila you have a few percent +/- (well not that simple, but anyway). I am no expert in statistics but i know that when different stuff are factored in, the greater the chance of adjusting the results. Personally i see that fewer people use IE - mostly company execs/workers who are under the impression that it is actually good because its made by Microsoft or because the computer came with it and they dont "have the time" to "learn to use" something safer and faster - most users actually use Firefox or Chrome.

Does all software lie now? (1)

fredrated (639554) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088105)

In the 'old' days when I worked with software, I knew what I had. Punch cards, core dumps, later DOS, wysiwyg.
Now everything lies. Windows hides stuff, Linux hides crap, browsers hide stuff. How the hell is one supposed to know what is going on, particularly when trying to troubleshoot/debug stuff when even the software lies?

By the way, I don't know what software slashdot uses, but trying to write this post was annoying, I kept loosing the insertion point and couldn't navigate the text!

MS IE dependent (1)

linux.py (2640087) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088109)

MS IE has to be installed for Windows to work. This is not the case for any other web browser. I suspect that if MS removed the dependencies IE would be removed from many more computers. Invisible tabs or not, Chrome is just a more pleasant and useful browser.

Preloading and employer filters (4, Interesting)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 2 years ago | (#40088113)

A tangentially related question: Has anyone gotten in trouble with violating their employer's Acceptable Use Policy due to browser preloading / precaching? Often, in search results or even certain news sites there are outbound links to places I'd never visit from work. But if Chrome (or even Firefox) is clicking those links behind my back, my IP address is in a corporate log somewhere as having "visited" that site, isn't it?

How are these preload/precache "hits" distinguished from normal hits? Obviously, if some of the sites are filtering these out, there's some way to tell them apart. At the same time, if the "hits" were noticeably different, there's always the chance the webserver would serve up different pages based on this difference.

Also, Chrome users are most likely "heavier" users (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40088177)

Not in terms of body mass, obviously, but in terms of how much surfing they do. My completely unscientific, completely anecdotal observations, suggests that Chrome users on average have more tabs open and surfs considerably more web pages than IE users. Not least because Chrome is much more suitable for that task.

The "grandma" type surfers who visits the internet bank and Facebook are still much less likely to have downloaded Chrome.

So Chrome probably visits more web sites than IE, but IE is probably still the browser used by most people. To be able to discern between these two different rankings, you have to have the right methodology, including either being able to separate individual users, or compensating for the average number of web sites visited by users using the different browsers.

I thought we were talking about users?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40088181)

Why aren't they looking at the number / percentage of users who USE a specific browser?? It shouldn't matter how many visible / invisible (pre-rendered) tabs they open...?

What's the "organic" comment about? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40088329)

Whereas the saturation of MSIE is totally organic, right?

WTF does the cause of browser distribution, have to do with the fact that if you write a web page to use standards, about half the users won't display it correctly?

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