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Browser battle rages as conflicting data puts both Microsoft IE & Google Chrome top

Google's Chrome browser is sitting pretty when it comes to global market share, carrying more than one third of worldwide usage, according to data from StatCounter.

The stats (top) show Chrome in the lead, with 33.81 per cent of the market, followed closely by Microsoft's Internet Explorer, which holds 32.04 per cent. Mozilla Firefox comes in third at 23.73 per cent, as of July 2012. Safari and Opera are shown holding steady with 7.12 per cent and 1.72 per cent, respectively.

But the search giant shouldn't rejoice just yet.

According to data from Net Applications (below), IE gained another 0.42 per cent in July while Chrome dropped 0.08 per cent. As of July, IE ruled with 48.95 per cent, Net Applications reported, followed by Firefox with 18.27 per cent and Google's browser, which earned 17.14 per cent.

In March - amidst reports of Chrome toppling IE - Microsoft accused StatCounter of using a flawed methodology to count traffic, calling StatCounter out for following overall share numbers that are significantly different than data counter Net Applications.

One issue cited by Microsoft was pre-rendering in Chrome, or pages that load as you type in a search query for faster surfing. StatCounter said it stopped counting pre-rendered pages as of May 2012, but they only accounted for approximately 1.5 per cent of all Chrome hits that month.

For more on the latest browsers, see ITProPortal's recent analysis and benchmarking of Internet Explorer 10.