IE Continues to Gain in Browser Wars

Internet Explorer continues to dominate the global browser market and has
increased its share to 95 percent, according to new metrics published by
Amsterdam-based OneStat.com Monday.


OneStat.com’s stats largely jibe with those published by W3Schools, whose
October 2002 results
show Internet Explorer holding 93 percent of the browser market.


OneStat.com said that since it last published data in September 2002, IE 6
has picked up an additional 5.3 percent, moving from 52.3 percent to 57.6
percent share. IE 5.x has 35.2 percent of the market according to
OneStat.com’s metrics, while IE 4.0 holds 0.9 percent. The firm also showed
Netscape 7 picking up 0.1 percent from 0.5 percent to 0.6 percent, with the
Netscape offering overall holding 3 percent of the market — making it
second place in the browser wars. Meanwhile, the firm said its data shows
Mozilla holds global usage share of 1.1 percent and Opera 6.0 holds onto
0.8 percent.

It’s in these details that OneStat.com’s data begins to vary slightly with
W3Schools. As of October 2002, W3Schools said Internet Explorer 6 holds 45
percent of the market, IE 5.x holds 46 percent of the market, and IE 4.x
has 2 percent of the market.

The methodologies of both firms are similar. OneStat.com said a global
usage share percentage for a particular browser is generated by measuring
the percentage of Internet users — and which browsers they use — that
arrive at sites using one of OneStat.com’s services. W3Schools does the
same with data generated by TheCounter.com, a service run by
internetnews.com parent Jupitermedia.

However, Unix Systems Administrator Ben Rosenberg said such statistics
should be taken with a grain of salt. Browsers use an identification string
to identify themselves to Web sites, which is how counters and metrics
firms can generate data about them. But a browser like Opera defaults to IE
as its user string identification if the site is not configured to identify
Opera. And both Konqueror and Mozilla users can change their user-agent
string to IE to make sites accessible that are only geared toward IE. In
fact, there is an add-on for Mozilla and Netscape that allows users to
change the user string identification on the fly.


“It’s really sad, and as anyone that works with the Internet daily can tell
you if they really know their stuff, logs of browser idents and other such
things are really just guessing and pretty much bogus,” Rosenberg said.

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