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Will Microsoft IIS Overtake Apache? 303

Posted by timothy
from the netcraft-hints-at-it dept.
First time accepted submitter jcdr writes "February's 2014 Web Server Survey by Netcraft shows a massive increase [in the share of] Microsoft's web server since 2013. Microsoft's market share is now only 5.4 percentage points lower than Apache's, which is the closest it has ever been. If recent trends continue, Microsoft could overtake Apache within the next few months, ending Apache's 17+ year reign as the most common web server."
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Will Microsoft IIS Overtake Apache?

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  • why not? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @02:03PM (#46151789)
    With so many botnets taking over IIS, it seems only fair.
    • Re: why not? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @02:08PM (#46151877)

      If I remember correctly, Microsoft was paying large hosting providers like GoDaddy to use IIS over apache

      • by tripleevenfall (1990004) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @02:13PM (#46151965)

        Next: Paying consumers to use Surface instead of iPad as their go-to breakdancing training device.

      • Re: why not? (Score:5, Informative)

        by dmiller1984 (705720) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @02:15PM (#46152005) Homepage
        I don't know if Microsoft paid them, but GoDaddy did move all of their parked sites to IIS by default instead of Apache, which caused a major percentage change for Microsoft.
        • Re: why not? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @04:38PM (#46154211)

          "I don't know if Microsoft paid them, but GoDaddy did move all of their parked sites to IIS by default instead of Apache, which caused a major percentage change for Microsoft."

          And why not, especially if Microsoft is paying them to do it? Those parked sites only represent a miniscule fraction of bandwidth, but as you say, make a big percentage difference in perceived market share.

          Smooth move, Microsoft. You bring "lying with statistics" to a whole new level.

      • Re: why not? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by QuietLagoon (813062) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @02:28PM (#46152267)

        If I remember correctly, Microsoft was paying large hosting providers like GoDaddy to use IIS over apache

        The evidence of that is the "all sites" graph which shows IIS's share increasing vs. the "active sites" graph which shows IIS's share plummeting. IIS appears to be hosting a lot of dead sites, ironically.

        • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @02:43PM (#46152551)

          IIS appears to be hosting a lot of dead sites

          Which is good news for the IIS performance metrics MS will be releasing... :-)

        • Re: why not? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Sez Zero (586611) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @03:09PM (#46152947) Journal

          The evidence of that is the "all sites" graph which shows IIS's share increasing vs. the "active sites" graph which shows IIS's share plummeting.

          I think the most interesting graph is the last: 1 million busiest sites. The downtick of Apache looks a lot like the opposite of the uptick for nginx. For busy sites, it seems nginx is separating from Google and IIS, but at the expense of Apache.

      • Re: why not? (Score:5, Informative)

        by petermgreen (876956) <plugwashNO@SPAMp10link.net> on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @03:44PM (#46153435) Homepage

        mmm, the "active sites" graph looks far more stable, apache is showing a slight downward trend recently but the market share it's losing doesn't seem to be going to MS

      • by Ravaldy (2621787)

        It's pretty standard for retail products. Why would it be different for software?

    • Re:why not? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Danzigism (881294) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @02:22PM (#46152143)
      I seem to remember a substantial amount of botnets running on Linux servers that have Apache on them. Also thanks to poor coders with bad PHP, SQL injections are quite common as well. But this article is bound to spark knee-jerk reactions to OSS software fanatics. Just don't forget that tons of people are switching to nginx and lighttpd on a daily basis which also decreases Apache's use as well.
      • Re: why not? (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        SQL-injections usually result in an output of data or a valid login session or destruction of data. Remote code execution would be a rare thing.
        Bots usually prefer the taste of client computers. Massive botnets written in PHP inhabiting LINUX servers? Sure there are plenty of bugs in PHP, but that has nothing to do with either Apache or LINUX.

        Your point is invalid, my hair is a bird!

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by jbo5112 (154963)

        The reason for knee jerk reactions is probably because the article actually shows no notable uptick in Microsoft's market share of active sites. It's just a sensationalist summary of some poorly analyzed data. For doing actual web serving (not just parked domain serving), they've fallen to 3rd, being beaten by both Apache and nginx. According to the numbers, 93.0% of Microsoft's sites are inactive, and they are leveraging 86.1% of the growth in inactive sites. Microsoft is now the leading web server for

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @02:10PM (#46151919)

    Apache is turning into one of the dinosaurs of the information age, being overtaken by the likes of Nginx and Lighttpd left and right but refusing to die already. IIS also is hardly the crippled pile of steaming crap which it used to be.

  • Netcraft says, "Microsoft gained a staggering 48 million sites this month, increasing its total by 19% â" most of this growth is attributable to new sites hosted by Nobis Technology Group." I have no idea WFT Nobis Technology Group is, but that suggests that what is essentially one large installation swings Netcraft's idea of "the most common web server."

    And that's a broken way of counting. If ten servers using Server A serve ten sites each, and one server with Server B serves 1,000 sites,Server A is still the most common web server, with ten times the installation base of Server B.

    • by mtippett (110279) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @02:20PM (#46152089) Homepage

      Exactly. A bit of sensationalism in the story.

      All Sites (included millions of parked) are in 38%/%32 mix. Looking 600 pixels down and you see the active (non parked sites). The percentage is 52% vs 11%. The big drop in for MS in 2009 was probably a nail in the coffin...

    • by guruevi (827432)

      A hosting company that mainly hosts spam sites. Together with their parent company they have large swathes of bots on various small /26 IP ranges registered to them which seems intended to be to prevent other companies from easily blocking a large IP range.

    • This and more (Score:5, Insightful)

      by s.petry (762400) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @03:09PM (#46152943)

      The "active" sites shows no such growth trend, in fact it shows IIS declining. NginX is the only web server showing growth, and even this is misleading. Most of our use for NginX is does not make Apache go away. We use NginX as a front end reverse proxy that talks to Apache back ends. NginX is good at a few things, but nowhere near as robust as Apache.

      This is just another case of pulling only the statistics you want to color a lie.

    • by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @03:09PM (#46152945) Journal

      If 10,000 Web sites are served from one server using Apache, and 100 Web sites are served from 100 servers using IIS, it would be reasonable to interpret that Apache is the more common choice for serving Web sites. It would be reasonable--not necessarily accurate, but in a vacuum decision there is a great chance of validity--to assume that Apache is the better choice for hosting Web sites in most cases, as it has been selected for more often. It would be very reasonable to assume that Apache is, in most cases, at least adequate--a satisfiser would find this palatable--while making no assumptions on whether it is more or less optimal than IIS.

      It's silly to assume that the number of servers has any real meaning, unless it can reflect resource use--at our resolution we can't even do that (are these 100 IIS servers run from Raspberry Pi, or 100 IIS servers run from ginormous Dell R620s? How much load?). Even then, that doesn't reflect all the other decisions put into it. On the other hand, there are very real questions like "Does my ASP.NET site run better on Apache?" and the answer is no; or like, "Does my Python/cherrypi site run better through WSGI/Apache or WSGI/IIS?" and the answer is no again.

      The raw number of Web sites run on Apache reflects a lot more than the number of discrete servers. But then you have questions like: are these Perl/PHP/Python, .NET, etc.? Essentially: are they Apache/IIS sites because of Apache/IIS, or because of the system that provides facilities for the site best also providing Apache/IIS support best?

    • by gtall (79522)

      From Nobis Web site (sounds dodgy just from the language):

      "Nobis Technology Group, LLC is the parent holding company to roughly a dozen specialized companies and a broad spectrum of websites. We are privately-held, employee-owned, and have been involved in a number of very lucrative Internet services companies of many names since 2002."

      I don't trust NoScript to let them further out of the box for their alleged web site to tell me more.

  • by Martin S. (98249) <{Martin.Spamer} {at} {gmail.com}> on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @02:15PM (#46152001) Homepage Journal
    The results look very different when you look where the traffic is going:

    Developer January 2014 Percent February 2014 Percent Change

    Apache 98,129,017 54.50% 94,741,928 52.68% -1.81

    nginx 21,548,550 11.97% 24,206,737 13.46% 1.49

    Microsoft 20,901,626 11.61% 21,196,966 11.79% 0.18

    Google 15,386,518 8.54% 15,245,912 8.48% -0.07

  • Nginx instances are rapidly replacing apache setups , so this should be IIS vs Nginx
  • by janoc (699997) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @02:16PM (#46152021)

    One needs to look beyond the first graph that shows all sites surveyed to look at the actually active sites - there Apache appears to have more *active* deployments than the rest combined. Counting inactive, parked domains is not really indicative of particular server popularity.

  • Parked domains are a pretty poor measure.
  • From TFA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by furbyhater (969847) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @02:24PM (#46152173)
    Since I've unexpectedly RTFA, just a heads up, the headline is even more biased than usual. On the total number of active websites, there are still about 10x as many apache websites than IIS. Same picture for the top million busiest sites. There's almost no yearly change, and the server gaining the most marketshare is NGINX.

    I'm starting to believe the hearsay: Slashdot has really been totally overrun by astroturfers (in this case paid by Microsoft). Maybe dice sells a number of "promotional posts" on a biased article to various companies, one of them being Microsoft?
    • Maybe dice sells a number of "promotional posts" on a biased article to various companies, one of them being Microsoft?

      Or maybe they're trying a "two wrongs make a right" balance for the garbage "IE's share is plummeting!!!" post from last week?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by jcdr (178250)

      Hi, I am the submitter of this story. Believe or not, I am really not connected to Microsoft, directly or indirectly. I am the co-founder of a very small company that provides services for embedded electronics and almost exclusively use Linux. I submitted this story after reading the monthly Netcraft email news. I wondering how Microsoft marketing team could possibly use the potential news "ISS > Apache" and how the OSS community will react to that news.

      Reading many comments, It look like the "ISS > A

  • Statistics? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PPH (736903) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @02:25PM (#46152185)

    This is a count of sites running web services, right? Not volume served out by each brand of server.

    Microsoft has had the practice of starting IIS on practically every server for the purpose of providing a web management interface. In some cases, without informing the system admin.

    Anecdote:

    Many years ago, when I managed a few Intranet sites at Boeing (SunOS, HP-UX, AIX, Linux), we had a variant of the Code Red [wikipedia.org] worm infecting IIS systems. Admins of *NIX systems could see the propagation of the worm payload in our web logs, even though our systems were immune*. We collected the source IPs of infected systems and turned them over to computing security. The next thing we knew, we'd get calls from Windows server admins, claiming that their systems could not be infected, as they were not running IIS. "Look again." Configuring many services automatically triggers a start of IIS. And now you've got a service running that the admins don't know that they have to keep patched. So even when Microsoft released a fix, it never got applied since many admins figured it wasn't applicable to them. I would venture a guess that most Windows Server (and many client) systems are running IIS, even if it only displays the default installation page.

    *Typical Apache/*NIX systems just replied with a 404 since the target DLL didn't exist. But I wrote a Perl CGI that would capture the query source and fire back a Windows popup message to the effect that their machine was broadcasting an infection. I was surprised to see how many people with client (desktop) systems called me to ask when was going on.

    • by Bert64 (520050)

      If you're not intending to run a web server then you shouldn't even have one installed...

      And if something is installed, it needs to be patched even if it isn't running.

      • by PPH (736903)

        Don't tell me. Tell Microsoft.

        Either silently starting IIS is a ploy to boost numbers. Or they figure MCSEs are too dense to read prerequisites*, so they just do stuff without asking/telling.

        *This might be unfair. Its possible that they did something and got a Mr. Clippy popup that informed them of the step. But they just selected "Do it" and forgot. So, yeah. Dense.

    • by Ravaldy (2621787)

      A fresh install of server 2000, 2003, 2008 or 2012 server does not install IIS.

      On the other hand some software will activate some IIS features but not the OS installation.

  • by wjcofkc (964165) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @02:27PM (#46152251)
    In the world of Open Source, I would also like to see the sum total of Open Source web servers VS. IIS:

    Nginx http://www.nginx.org/ [nginx.org] ( really popular and at least this is in one of the graphs)
    Lighttpd http://www.lighttpd.net/ [lighttpd.net] (personally, I have found many reasons use this one in the past and I'm sure I will again)
    Cherokee http://www.cherokee-project.co... [cherokee-project.com] (yet to explore past a basic setup)
    Roxen Webserver http://www.roxen.com/products/... [roxen.com] (Still need to take for a spin)

    And then special purpose web servers.

    HTTP Explorer http://http-explorer.sourcefor... [sourceforge.net]
    HFS HTTP File Server http://www.rejetto.com/hfs/ [rejetto.com]

    At least that's all I can think of. Anybody else?
    I know some of these take up negligible market share, but I would still like to see their market share lumped together.
    • In the world of Open Source, I would also like to see the sum total of Open Source web servers VS. IIS

      Why? What makes "Open Source" so magical?

  • by neminem (561346) <{neminem} {at} {gmail.com}> on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @02:32PM (#46152335) Homepage

    I recently became acquainted with it at work, and it's actually quite nice to work with, I must say.

    Still, this post reminds me quite a lot of the xkcd about extrapolating off of one data point. It seems unlikely that IIS will overtake Apache; more likely there was a one-time shift due to some particular event.

  • by koan (80826)

    Looks like obfuscation to me, and so not accurate.

  • Oblig (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ubi_NL (313657) <joris&ideeel,nl> on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @02:38PM (#46152467) Journal

    At the time Elvis Presley died in 1977, he had 150 impersonators in the US. Now, according to calculations I spotted in a Sunday newspaper colour supplement recently, there are 85,000. Intriguingly, that means one in every 3,400 Americans is an Elvis impersonator. More disturbingly, if Elvis impersonators continue multiplying at the same rate, they will account for a third of the worldâ(TM)s population by 2019.

    http://crookedtimber.org/2005/... [crookedtimber.org]

  • I prefer a different headline... So finally after nearly 20 years, Microsoft can win (on one of many benchmarks) from a bunch of amateurs ;-).
  • by snarfies (115214) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @03:07PM (#46152913) Homepage

    It is official; Netcraft now confirms: Apache is dying

    One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered Apache community when IDC confirmed that Apache market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming close on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that Apache has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. Apache is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

    You don't need to be a Kreskin to predict Apache's future. The hand writing is on the wall: Apachefaces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Apache because Apache is dying. Things are looking very bad for Apache. As many of us are already aware, Apache continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

    All major surveys show that Apache has steadily declined in market share. Apache is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If Apache is to survive at all it will be among web server dilettante dabblers. Apache continues to decay. Nothing short of a cockeyed miracle could save Apache from its fate at this point in time. For all practical purposes, Apache is dead.

    Fact: Apache is dying

  • 1999 called. They want their browser war back, but they'll settle for a httpd war.
  • by goruka (1721094) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @04:04PM (#46153695)
    Someone I know runs a hosting provider in Latin America, they sell virtualization, dedicated servers and housing. I don't remember exactly how the deal was (this was about 2 years ago). Microsoft talks to everyone here to route their traffic through Window Server devices and IIS or fake server agents in exchange of money, hardware and licenses. I don't have proof and can't obviously point to specific providers, but i've seen the devices myself.

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