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[Slashdot] - Net Applications Will No Longer Track the Browser Wars

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Emil Protalinski, reporting for VentureBeat: For more than a decade, I've used Net Applications' NetMarketShare tool to track the desktop browser and operating system markets. The monthly reports have been critical in gauging which browsers and new versions of operating systems are gaining or losing market share. Last week, Net Applications released its final NetMarketShare report. The loss could not come at a worse time. After Chrome cemented its spot as the world's de facto browser, there hasn't been a lot of movement. But that might be about to change. Chrome's creator, Google, is facing the biggest U.S. antitrust case in a generation. Mozilla, which depends on Google for almost all its revenue, is rightly worried about becoming "collateral damage." [...] So why is Net Applications killing off NetMarketShare? Don't act surprised when I tell you the undisputed market leader has something to do with it. In January, Google proposed deprecating the User-Agent string (used to identify which browser and operating system is being used) as part of its war on fingerprinting. Net Applications says the change will break NetMarketShare's device detection technology and "cause inaccuracies for a long period of time." Add the ongoing problem of filtering out bots to prevent skewing of the result, and Net Applications decided it was best to throw in the towel after 14 years. Net Applications provided its reports based on data captured from 100 million sessions each month over thousands of websites.

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