Microsoft Compares: Net Applications vs. StatCounter

By | March 19, 2012 | 8 Comments


Microsoft Compares: Net Applications vs. StatCounter

In the new blog post titled “Understanding Browser Usage Share Data”, Microsoft’s Roger Capriotti has revealed why Net Applications and StatCounter stats seem to differ.

While you might think that the only difference is sampling size, there is actually more to it. As it turns out, thanks to pre-rendering, StatCounter gathered data from the Google Chrome web browser even if users did not visit the mentioned web sites, which as a result, influenced the numbers. Although traffic statistics has been since tweaked to address the issue, Microsoft reports that a total of 4.3% Chrome’s daily visits were caused by pre-rendering.

In addition to that, StatCounter just calculates the absolute page views for its information and does not consider geoweighting, which Net Application does. How exactly does it impact the situation? Well, StatCounter ranks China as the 22nd country when it comes to the number of Internet users when in reality it’s number 1.

Here is what Net Applications had to say

If our global data shows that Brazil represents 2 (percent) of our traffic, and the CIA table shows Brazil to represent 4 (percent) of global Internet traffic, we will count each unique visitor from Brazil twice. This is done to balance out our global data.

So what can you take from the study? Well, as seen in the picture above, Microsoft went ahead and compared reported vs. adjusted browser market share and results speak for themselves, at least when it comes to the IE market share.

[Via Neowin]


About (Author Profile)


Vygantas is a former web designer whose projects are used by companies such as AMD, NVIDIA and departed Westood Studios. Being passionate about software, Vygantas began his journalism career back in 2007 when he founded FavBrowser.com. Having said that, he is also an adrenaline junkie who enjoys good books, fitness activities and Forex trading.

  • Armin

    Aren’t Microsoft doing themselves a disfavour by doing this? :P

    • Armin

      Whoops, misread the pie charts. Of course Microsoft wouldn’t boast a method with which IE would look worse!

  • Pieter Nieuwoudt

    And if you remove the accidental IE traffic…

  • Armin

    By the way, when did Chrome surpass Firefox and why didn’t FavBrowser report this?

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/max1cp?feature=mhum Maxim

      It was so long ago that you have already forgotten about it ;)

      • Armin

        Ahhh, nevermind, Firefox is still ahead on Net Applications which Microsoft argues is more accurate than StatCounter.

  • apád anyád

    I wonder if these stats were effected by pipelining or cookie-blocking (ghostery and other stuff).

    Also, how many of the chrome users did actually install it by their own free will (means: didn’t installed itself as a crapware)?

  • Apriorimeister