Microsoft has attacked StatCounter, the firm that said Chrome topped Internet Explorer last weekend, saying that its data and assumptions were flat-out wrong. Now StatCounter is fighting back. In comments to my blog post about the issue, StatCounter says that Microsoft is the one with the wrong data and assumptions.
The squabble was set off when StatCounter found that for one day last weekend, Chome's usage beat all versions of Internet Explorer combined. Microsoft countered in a blog that StatCounter was wrong, claiming that the rankings don't take into account that Chrome "pre-renders" pages -- downloads pages assuming that users will click them next. Microsoft also said that StatCounter doesn't accurately geoweight "browser usage based on real-world Internet populations." And Microsoft also claimed that StatCounter counts page views rather than unique visitors, which Microsoft says is am inaccurate way to count browser share.
I wrote a blog post highlighting Microsoft's response to StatCounter, and StatCounter posted their response to Microsoft in the comments section. In those comments, StatCounter linked to why they don't adjust for pre-rendering, but said that they might adjust for it in the future. In addition, StatCounter also linked to an explanation of their stands on geoweighting and page views versus unique visitors.
Beyond those somewhat lengthy technical explanations, though, StatCounter had some zingers for Microsoft, notably the service provider Microsoft uses for figuring out browser share, saying:
"We also feel that the Microsoft blog missed some important points about our service versus their preferred provider -- for example, our sample pool is 3 million websites versus 40,000."
And the company also noted that Internet Explorer is on a downward spiral, while Chrome is edging up, saying:
"If we ignore Chrome overtaking IE on the 18 March (which was only a narrow victory and only very brief -- but notable all the same), there is an undeniable trend in our stats towards Chrome usage at the weekend at the expense of IE."
The ball's now in Microsoft's court.