If you believe NetMarketshare figures, Internet Explorer (IE) wasn't just leading the Web browser popularity contest in September 2013, with 51.09 percent, it's actually widening its lead. But, ZDNet's tens-of-millions of monthly readers have a different favorite: Chrome.
Breaking down NetMarketShare's numbers, we see that IE remains the most dominant browser with a near-equal split between IE8's decline to 21.3 percent, and IE10's increase to 19.5 percent share of the market.
IE's gains came mostly at the expense of fourth-place Safari, which dropped more than a full percentage point to 11.19 percent. Firefox, came in second, with a slight gain to 16.39 percent. Chrome also made a slight gain to hold on to the third spot with 14.87 percent.
NetMarketShare massages ts data to reflect the number of Internet users per country. StatCounter, which doesn't massage its data in this manner, shows an entirely different Web browser world.
By StatCounter's reckoning, Chrome is the global Web browser leader with 40.8 percent. IE, which has been gaining on Chrome since August, is still far behind with 28.56 percent. Firefox, which has been on a long slow decline, has third place with 18.36 percent; Safari is in fourth place with 8.52 percent, and Opera remains, as always, just present on the top five list with 1.16 percent.
Tens of millions of ZDNet Web site visitors also prefer Chrome by a wide margin. In the site's latest available numbers from August, 29.8 percent of ZDNet page views came from Chrome users. IE took second place with 19.9 percent and Firefox was in third place with 13.2 percent. Lagging in the back was Safari with 4.7 percent and Opera with 0.5 percent. 27.7 percent of browsers couldn't be identified.
Of course ZDNet readers aren't ordinary Internet users. They tend to be very interested in technology and the business of technology or they wouldn't be visiting the site. You can also see this by their 9.4-percent adoption rate of the relatively new IE10, and how few of them, 0.4 percent, are still using the now obsolete IE 7.
So, while some people, using the NetMarketShare numbers, are claiming that IE has won the browser wars, both ZDNet and StatCounter's numbers indicate that the battle between Chrome and IE is still raging — and that Chrome, for now, still has the advantage.