James Governor's Monkchips

How Google Is Helping Microsoft IIS to catch Apache

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This morning I was chatting to Matt Biddulph of DOPPLR about this Infoworld story based on Netcraft data, which claims “Microsoft’s Internet Information Services (IIS) continues to narrow the gap with the open source Apache Web server”.

Matt is a bit of a data junkie, and as such he went to the source.

goog netcraft

By looking at the absolute numbers, rather than the market share graph, he came up with the frankly obvious-when-you-see-it conclusion that the reason IIS now appears to be catching Apache is because Google Web Server is now being counted separately. His first thought, after all, had been that the change in share might be down to one of the major backbone players moving off Apache. See that little pink line going vertical in the bottom right hand corner though–that’s Google Web Server market share. Now look up at the top right hand, that falling blue line pretty much corresponds to Apache’s “losses”. Here is the May 2007 announcement from Netcraft it is now tracking GWS separately. Its not clear to me why Netcraft didn’t make the connection on the August writeup – maybe someone is on vacation. But I tend to think Google, not IIS, is the real story here. All that said, Microsoft has made a lot of progress with its own web server, for example moving to specialized default lessconfigurations (Microsoft call them role-based) in Windows 2008, so it may do better over time; it still pretty much rules in the enterprise. But Google aside, Apache is still growing, and as far as I know GWS is Apache-based anyway…


  1. M$’s webserver has seen a spike also because Godaddy started hosting the site holders on M$ instead of Apache. One persons loss is another ones gain.

  2. Hmmm, well I looked at the figures too – http://www.itwriting.com/blog/?p=292 – and reckoned that IIS is increasing its market share even taking into account the Google factor.


  3. […] enlightening post around the issue of IIS catching up with Apache. Or how you can make stats mean absolutely anything […]

  4. […] James Governor of Redmonk has an interesting analysis of the supposed decline of Apache in the latest Netcraft survey. Infoworld first reported the story, and their headline was “Microsoft’s IIS may catch Apache in Web server market.” The lede is no less provocative: “Microsoft’s Internet Information Services (IIS) continues to narrow the gap with the open source Apache Web server, with a survey firm suggesting that the longtime second banana could surpass Apache as early as next year.” (Matt Asay calls it “The unthinkable.”) […]

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