Another month is in the books, thereby giving us another opportunity to examine the state of the browser
wars as summer winds down and the back-to-school season comes within sight. The story that unfolds when looking at browser statistics depends on which research firm's numbers you examine, as Net Market Share and StatCounter paint very different pictures of the browser market.
Starting with the former, Microsoft's Internet Explorer
browser still dominates the competition with a commanding 56.61 percent share of the desktop browser market, up from 56.15 percent in June. Year-on-year, IE has increased its share by 2.68 percentage points.
, meanwhile, had another positive month, jumping from 17.17 percent in June to 17.76 percent at the end of July. Both figures are down from a year when Chrome held a 19.08 percent share of the market, perhaps suggesting that Google's browser may have peaked. Meanwhile, Mozilla's Firefox
browser declined for the second straight month, ending July with an 18.29 percent share of the market. That's down from 20.16 percent in July 2012.
If we switch gears to StatCounter, the browser wars are all about Chrome, the only browser to see consistent growth in the past year. StatCounter has Chrome in pole position with a 43.12 percent share of the market, followed by IE (24.53 percent), Firefox (20.09 percent), Safari (8.59 percent), and Opera (1.1 percent).
The discrepancy in market share comes from the way each firm collects its data. Net Market Share pulls its figures from browsers of site visitors to its exclusive on-demand network of HitsLink Analytics and SharePost clients, which includes over 40,000 websites around the globe and 160 million unique visits per month. StatCounter relies on tracking code installed on more than 3 million sites around the world and over 15 billion page views per month.