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Chrome's automatic update feature also gives Google's browser an important advantage over IE. "If the upgrade cycle happens in the background, that will take away that reminder to consider switching browsers," Vizzaccaro noted.
On the other hand, browser market trends can change quickly. "I see some potential coming in 2012 for Windows Mobile and Windows 8 on a tablet that could greatly help IE," Vizzaccaro said.
In any event, pre-rendering alone cannot account for the wide disparity between the data sets being reported by the two Web analytics firms.
"The vast difference in our numbers when compared to StatCounter's is still due to two factors: country-level weighting and the use of unique visitors instead of page views," Vizzaccaro said in an e-mail Monday.
Last November, for example, Net Applications began applying a new country-level weighting system based on CIA data to improve the accuracy of the firm's worldwide usage share statistics.
"Without applying geographic weighting, data will be influenced by where its reporting traffic originates from," Vizzaccaro said.
What's more, Net Applications only counts unique visitors to the network sites under its analytics review and only counts one unique visit to each network site per day.
"This is part of our quality control process to prevent fraud, and ensure a correct portrayal of Internet usage market share," Vizzaccaro explained. "Through geographic weighting and counting only unique visitors, we can deliver the most accurate and reliable picture of Web browser market share today across all platforms."
Posted: 2012-05-21 @ 3:33pm PT
We do adjust for prerendering in Chrome:
Adjustment has been applied since 1 May 2012.
(We haven't received any email from you though - feel free to contact us if you have any further questions - http://gs.statcounter.com/feedback)
We also explain our view on page views here:
And we address geo-weighting with the CIA data here:
Other differences between StatCounter Global Stats and Net Apps are outlined here: