The browser market is becoming more, well, ambiguous. One analytics company says one thing, the other says another. Both say their numbers are the most accurate and their methods the "most" correct. Nobody expects two different studies, especially two with different methodologies, to show the same numbers, but you'd at least expect to see the same trends.
Not so much, lately. While StatCounter shows IE duking it out with Chrome
for the top position and Firefox a distant third, Net Applications shows IE completely dominate the market and Firefox starting to distance itself from Chrome which has been losing market share for the past few months.
Specifically, for July, IE is marked as having 53.93 percent market share, a very slight drop from the previous month, more than double than Firefox.
The Mozilla browser still has a respectable 20.16 percent market share, a small uptick from June. Chrome, though, is doing terrible, it seems, after peaking at 19.58 percent in May. It's now down to 18.88 percent, from 19.08 percent in June.
Meanwhile, StatCounter shows Chrome continuing to soar, though the competition with IE is still fierce after Chrome first overtook IE several weeks ago.
So, which one of them is right? The easy (cop out) answer is that they're both right, in different ways. The real answer, though, is that there's no way to know. In fact, they're both wrong. There's no one out there that can tell you with certainty what the global browser market looks like.
Microsoft, Google, Mozilla all have internal metrics and ways of keeping track, but even them can't know for sure how many unique users they have, how often these people use the browsers and so on.
Of StatCounter and Net Applications, the latter does the most guesswork, but it also tries the most to portray an accurate image of the browser market. StatCounter does little to tamper with the raw numbers, but this also means that its numbers are more about usage, i.e. how much a browser is used and not by how many.