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Chrome now world's top browser, but beware the math

The browser, according to data compiled by StatCounter, topped Internet Explorer to become the world's most popular browser last week.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
Chrome overtakes Internet Explorer, according to StatCounter.
Chrome overtakes Internet Explorer, according to StatCounter. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

There's no debating Google Chrome continues to gain momentum and put pressure on Internet Explorer. But according to one browser-tracking firm, it's now more popular than Microsoft's alternative.

Analytics site StatCounter has revealed that for the first time, Google Chrome overtook Internet Explorer last week to become the world's most popular browser. According to the data the company compiled, during the week of May 14 to May 20, Chrome secured 32.76 percent market share, compared to Microsoft's 31.94 percent.

At the start of this week, however, Chrome has come back down to 31.88 percent, just inching out Internet Explorer's 31.47 percent share.

Chrome surprised some Web users back in March when it was revealed by StatCounter that the browser overtook Internet Explorer for one day that month. Soon after, it fell back to second place behind Microsoft's software. StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen said at that time that Chrome has quickly become the top choice for users on weekends.

"Whether Chrome can take the lead in the browser wars in the long term remains to be seen, however the trend towards Chrome usage at weekends is undeniable," Cullen said at the time. "At weekends, when people are free to choose what browser to use, many of them are selecting Chrome in preference to Internet Explorer."

Still, it's important to note that StatCounter's method of counting data is slightly different than those from other analytics firms. StatCounter counts raw page views, but doesn't correct its data for geographic differences between global browsing patterns and its own network usage. StatCounter only recently started removing prerendered pages which are not viewed from its stats.

Despite its worldwide success, Chrome still has a ways to go to catch Internet Explorer in the U.S. In fact, StatCounter's data shows that the week Chrome overtook Internet Explorer, Google's browser held just 23.83 percent market share, compared to Microsoft's 37.81 percent. Chrome's success appears to have come in large part from Europe, where the browser outpaced Internet Explorer by more than 1 percentage point.