The figures show that Chrome fell for the second straight month as the metrics firm admitted that it had been over-counting that browser’s share for months.
Redfaced Net Applications admitted that it had given Chrome a larger share than the browser deserved because the pre-rendering technology used by the browser creates unviewed visits that should not be counted.
Since February, Net Applications has adjusted Chrome’s share by ignoring unused pre-loaded pages and counting only those the user actually sees.
This slashed Chrome’s figures by 4.3 per cent.
Chrome’s share fell about one half of a percentage point to end February with 18.9 per cent, off its peak of 19.1 per cent last December. The browser remained in the No. 3 slot, behind both IE and Mozilla’s Firefox.
Last month Net Applications put a decline in Chrome’s use down to the fact that Google demoted the page rank for Chrome’s download site, after it confirmed a marketing campaign had violated the company’s own rules against paid links.