Apache at 56% – what is wrong?

The newest Netcraft Web server survey shows again a shrinking of Apaches market share. It is now at 56%, followed by Microsoft with more then 30%.

The current survey explains pretty clear that Apache’s loss of 2.86% is mostly due to a new rating system of the surveys: beginning with this May all pages hosted by Google are not longer rated as Apache solutions, but as GFE (Google Front End). These have a market share of 2.3%, leveling the real loss of Apache to “only” 0.56%.

Still, it is quite a lot – keep in mind that Apache had a market share of over 70% only two years ago. No one would have estimated that Apache would lose 15% in only two years. And even worse, the direction is also clear: Apache is only losing market share – nothing else! Why is that so? Has Apache lost its value?
Or is the community facing something similar to Firefox – but the other way around? No one would have guessed that Firefox would spread so unbelievable fast.

Of course, the possible reasons for this are manifold:
Is Microsoft doing a better marketing? Or has the code quality of Apache dropped somehow? Are there problems in the Apache management/core developers group? Is there a new trend Apache has missed? Or is it just the typical spread of the monopoly, making Apache slightly more unattractive on Windows servers than IIS (keep in mind that there are more Windows servers out there than Linux servers!)?
I have no idea if it is such a reason, or maybe something totally different. But I would like to know. And I would like to know why there is no reaction to this.

95 thoughts on “Apache at 56% – what is wrong?”

  1. I think that the market share statistics may be a bit misleading. Yes, their market share has decreased, but the number of users using their software has continued to increase at about the same rate as past years (as seen by the Totals for Active Servers graph).

    The market is expanding as more and more home users want to put up a website and more and more companies put up webpages. That leads to a huge amount of fairly inexperienced developers producing and hosting web content. People with a fair amount of inexperience will tend to stick to what they are used to, which, in most situations, is Windows. Those poor souls like IIS because it’s just “right there” and working out of the box. You just do a tiny bit of configuration through the control panel and hey presto… a webserver serving pages from anywhere on your box. It’s a lot easier than Apache (I’m assuming… I’ve only ever used IIS on a Windows Server 2003 box a while ago, but I use Apache2 on my Linux box now) because with Apache, you actually have to edit text configuration files, which is second only to the console on the new-user-scariness factor.

    Those are my thoughts. I do think though that there’s not much cause for alarm, since Apache is continuing to expand as shown on the bottom chart.

  2. Hi liquidat.
    Is it possible that greater compute power per box is reducing the number of Apache installations? To the extent that hostname is equivalent to “box”, this would affect the leader more than the followers.

  3. The heretic in me would like to remind you, that IIS has gone from being a completely security nightmare to becoming a decent product. The increased adoption of ASP.NET probably means a lot to.

    Its not JUST because of MS marketing or vendor/community mistakes when MS takes marketshare from others.

  4. These are probably new godaddy domain redirects. I’d not be using microsoft junk even if they where throwing chairs. Probably netcraft laziness

  5. You’re right, Lars, it’s not JUST because of MS marketing or vendor/community mistakes. Rather, Will Brown hit it right on the head. It’s CHIEFLY a function of the desktop monopoly–convicted twice, I remind you–expanding into the server space.

    See, I work in a “Microsoft shop,” and you have a lot of people out there who think that running a secure server is as easy as two points and clicks. That’s of course not true, but they think that. Furthermore, Personal Web Services (PWS), found on client boxes, is simply a somewhat stripped-down IIS (I’ve turned it into full-blown IIS before, since I know the secret). I’m guessing that PWS shows up as IIS on Netcraft as well.

    As far as IIS being a decent product, I have to disagree, because it’s way too tied in to an insecure platform (MS Windows). I wouldn’t trust any Web server of mine to IIS or any derivative of it.

  6. Well, I actually think it should be possible to setup a secure webserver with a couple of clicks. Its a symptom of the sad state of IT-security that this is not the case (which is certainly also a problem that can be attributed to MS).

    Do you have any evidence at all to back up the PWS theory? I am not saying that it could not be true, but I would say that the only people I know that use PWS are developers using it for testing. Most people I know that are clueless to tech and want some kind of homepage, use a blogging service instead of setting it up themselves. I would be very surprised if this is the case, but I am willing to adjust my opinion based on facts.

    It is a fact that .NET and Asp.net has taken marketshare from J2EE application servers. Don´t you think this has anything to with the increasing marketshare of IIS?

    Caveat: I worked as network admin in a mostly Microsoft shop for seven years, and have also administrated IIS servers. Most of my personal webprojects have been based on Linux & Apache, though.

  7. Put quite simply:

    IIS is less intimidating to setup and learn. My organization is a great example of this, everything assumes apache is more secure, has more futures and is likely a more solid product… yet none of the staff know much about it and have little reason to go out on a limb to learn it when ISS is so much more approachable.

    In short, small/medium/large non Internet focused enterprises choose ISS due to staff’s preference for something simple to configure and support. If apache had a GUI that was as accessible as ISS”s it would be gaining market share, not losing it.

  8. Apache is still hand down the best server there is today. It’s unfortunately that people would choose an inferior product just because it has a GUI interface.

  9. I’d also do blame:
    – ASF, for letting students into apache2 development causing all sort of havoc to the codebase;
    – Fedora and a bunch of other immature distros happily stuffing that into default webserver setups;
    – hosting providers offering aforementioned distros.

    What happened to running production code on production systems? Why the heck put betas there?

    We’ve long maintained apache-1.3 as default in ALT Linux (which is hardened server-oriented distro now being 4.0RC), and just switched to 2.2 when it started to seem like it’s a bit better, security-wise, than 2.0.x series.

    Which are just plain awful.

    apache-1.3-alt maintainer
    who runs it mainly with nginx

  10. I’ve noticed that my webhost (a cheap, but good- mass market host) is offering Windows plans for not a lot more than Linux based plans.
    Being a large, inexpensive host, they get a lot of “newbies” in terms of new webmasters.
    One of the most common misconceptions is that newbies thinks they have to have a Windows host because they have a Windows computer (at the same time, the majority of the problems are from the Windows based plans).

    Caveat- I’ve never done any asp.net work, but I’ve never had anything that my LAMP plan couldn’t handle (though I don’t ask much of it- just to serve up information when requested).

  11. Someone might be playign a little more with the numbers again, for PR purposes. Last year I was told by a Web host that Microsoft would even pay for hardware just to boost its figures and confuse buyers. Also see, for context:

    Open Source Fights Back

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | Question: The OpenSourceParking.com announcement cites a Netcraft
    | report, which found that GoDaddy.com’s migration from Linux to Windows
    | caused Apache to lose server share. Was this event the sole impetus
    | for OpenSourceParking.com?
    | Perens: Not the first. It’s part of a continuing behavior pattern by
    | Microsoft that I think it’s fair to call “dirty fighting.” GoDaddy was
    | using Apache (I assume on Linux) because it was a great technical
    | solution. They didn’t switch to IIS on Windows Server 2003 for any
    | technical reason. The switch was accompanied by a press release by
    | GoDaddy, containing Microsoft promotional language. Now, I’ve changed
    | many servers from one thing to another, but I’ve never made a press
    | release about it. GoDaddy wouldn’t be doing that unless Microsoft had
    | offered them something valuable in return. There has been talk in the
    | domain business that Microsoft has been offering the large domain
    | registries a wad of cash to switch their parked sites. There is no
    | other reason to do this than to influence the Netcraft figures.


  12. Apache may be loosing market-share because it has a thoroughly antiquated architecture (including Apache 2):
    – It uses a “Thread per request” approach, which is wasteful on resources (compared with in-memory queuing and fewer threads).
    – It uses blocking I/O

    Both these deficiencies means that Apache can only handle hundreds of concurrent requests, compared with potentially tens of thousands of concurrent requests given another architecture type.

  13. I use IIS 6 + ASP.Net at work, and I run Apache 2.? on Gentoo at home. Quite frankly, with proper configuration, if you’re only running a web server then both platforms are similarly secure. The main difference I’ve observed is that IIS 6 insists on following the HTTP RFCs to the letter, whereas Apache has many options which let you violate them.

    This is good and bad. It allows you to support crappy clients (like cell phones), but it allows crappy clients to use the web. In this sense, Apache is the IE of web servers. (IE allows crappy html to render acceptably).

    Other than that, they’re both reliable and extensible. If I had to guess, ASP.Net is growing in popularity and thus increasing usage of IIS.

    Also, if you check secunia and other sources, IIS 6 and Apache are really quite close in terms of vulnerabilities.

  14. What makes you think anything is wrong? The numbers are just right. You have found some facts. I have no problem with being interested in why the numbers changed. But actually saying it is wrong is… well… wrong. There is no right and wrong here. There is no conspiracy. There is nobody on a grassy knoll.

  15. Hmmm… Maybe Microsoft will take over the server market, sit on top for 10 years, then suddenly realise that they’ve gotten slack in their old age and they’re being overtaken again and need to act fast (as was the case with Firefox Vs. IE, and as seems to be becoming the case with Linux Vs. Vista).

    I totally agree that Microsoft’s increased market share in the server sector is more than likely due to the fact that they actually make a half-decent server product now, and also because Apache has become a victim of it’s own success by being the target of countless security issues.

    All interesting stuff, but I’m sure Apache ( or a new, better open source server) will be back again one day. Software, like fashion, all moves in a mysterious endless cycle!

  16. The LAMP folks (especially those using PHP) are extremely slow to realize just how different ASP.NET is. It’s a much more powerful platform for any medium-large scale development – especially enterprise applications. PHP certainly has a very important role to play, but anyone with experience should see the benefits .NET brings to enterprise development over most “P” offerings.

    It isn’t good marketing, it’s having a technology offering that appeals to a lot of the kind of work people are doing with the web.

    The open source community also hasn’t realized that the IIS of old, isn’t the same IIS of new. There’s so much anti-Microsoft in them that they are blinded by any advancements the company makes – refusing to believe it could make any. IIS 6.0 on Windows 2003 is incredibly stable and fast. IIS 7.0 just gets better. The tight integration between the ASP.NET and IIS is hugely beneficial and unmatched by any Apache offering.

  17. I think more people are starting to move to light weight servers to manage static pages. A lot of multimedia type sites are popping up like youtube that would benefit from a light weight front end server and multiple media servers to serve video. I believe youtube is using lighttpd.

  18. @Patrick: “wrong” as in “What is wrong with Apache?” The usage decreases on a steady rate for months now. Therefore Apache is not that appealing anymore, and I ask for the reasons.
    Should not be too hard to understand.

    About the other mentioned servers, like lighttpd: some big companies use them, but the overall market share of these servers is negligible (according to Netcraft).

  19. I use IIS at work (about 400 sites) and on a web server I personally own and co-locate. 6 years ago I used IIS because it was easy, and because it was built into the OS. I could get sites up and running in no time at all- albeit with risks.

    Now that I have a lot of experience, I can tell you that IIS is actually a GOOD solution now. As the other Karl suggested, take your blinders off and realize that the quality has improved greatly in the last 5 years- and it ISN’T just marketing.

    Everything I need- FTP, POP, SMTP, etc. is just a click away. It is integrated with the OS, it has a decent GUI. It is a solid product that many professionals rely on.

  20. Integration could be the problem. Corporations are moving (have moved) to providing an option of accessing their internal email system via the web. Since many corporations are using Exchange server, they are going to use IIS to provide the email web interface whether directly or through an ISA server. So I’m betting that the lack of a solid Linux based enterprise grade email solution is a big part of the problem. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are a few really good Linux based email systems that are solid enough to be used in an Enterprise but that’s not enough. Any Exchange replacement has to be a drop in replacement. I worked at a medium sized company that looked very closely at several Linux based replacements for Exchange and the thing that killed the project was one single application (a major one) that used Outlook/Exchange API’s to communicate with email/calendar/tasks in Exchange. Since none of the Linux solutions could handle that requirement the project died even though the Linux solution was better in every single other respect.

  21. Is it possible that many more people nowadays run dynamic websites rather than just static apache or apache+cgi?

    eg: I am working on converting my Apache sites to Apache Tomcats. I am not sure whether the survey includes Tomcat as Apache. That could explain 5-10% maybe

  22. I find IIS and Apache have 2 different markets. Its just the markets that are changing, not the quality of the products. I use apache and I use IIS. I tend to use IIS more simply because I like it more and It doesnt crash on crazy shit like log files exceeding a certain size.

  23. What no one seems to have reali`ed or atleast not mentioned here is that a few years ago there were not many options to use as server. There were a few ofcourse. But most were not supported or had worse extensions if any. So for that reason Apache and IIS were kind of the only options. IIS was a crappy product back then so in terms of usability and security Apache was superior and the logical choice for anyone with a common sense.

    Now there are much more reliable servers including IIS. Microsoft released a whole range of windows server os’es and as someone said it has a GUI.
    Apache did not necessarily loose anything or has not gotten worse for that matter. But there is so much more choice these days.

    As I’m typing this i can’t really come up with the names but next to Apache and IIS there are atleast 3 other major server programs including the mentioned IHS and lighthttp.

    If you think about it it’s only logical that apaches share lessens. More and more people are exploring the new options. At the same time the usage of servers increases since almost everyone has a need to publish his stuff online or just wants an online office… You know, this thing called web 2.0… So the lesser percentage doesn’t even mean there are fewer servers running Apache.

  24. trun9ie, it’s unrealistic to think that people wouldn’t choose something with a GUI over the .conf Apache files. Even with some of the nice .conf editors that are available, Apache is just more difficult. That counts for a lot.

    Also, from a business standpoints, Usenet and web message boards, no matter how good they may be, don’t give the corporate types the warm and fuzzy feeling that support contracts do. While support has been appearing, it’s still not at the same accessibility as with MS.

    Also, and I suggest this not to yell out bias and write off the whole item, but to point out that if you are to accurately assess a situation, you need to consider all possibilities. I noticed in your original post that you seem to have completely ignored the possibility that IIS is improving as a product in ways that may make it more palatable these days. While that may or may not be true, to ignore the possibility would be a foolish mistake. The possible reasons you cite for this are improved marketing or monopoly(which is far from true in the server space where web servers matter) or some failing on Apache’s part. The assumption that MS couldn’t possibly be improving is one that has led to the down fall of many of their competitors….

  25. If you look at the average home users, using IEE and especially Apache is out of the reach since it is far too difficult to set up and configure these servers.
    Many home users are better of running a server, such as BarracudaDrive, that is designed to be easier to configure and is secure straight out of the box.

  26. Are there more Windows servers out there than Linux servers – with respect to web hosting (all server categories combined I would agree, but web hosting – I seriously doubt that)?

    Do you have any numbers? Netcraft posted numbers some years ago, but AFAIK has never revealed any platform numbers since.

    The only postings of figures in recent times have been both unrepresentative. The first of these was by a company specializing in IIS support which of course doesn’t support trust into their data. I do not know the URL any more.

    The second one was just posted a few days ago by some website monitoring company. But their results are based on a small sample and I would assume that their user base are mostly hobbyists and small companies. So this might cause the big Linux lead over there:

    So, any hint about real web server platform share would be appreciated!

  27. Anyone ever thing that IIS may just actually be a better product?? To me that seems like that would be a good cause for more market share….just a thought.

  28. @Jason: You are right, I forgot to mention that possibility. Which shows that I must be more careful analyzing such situations because it is dangerous to underestimate a market participant, as you said.
    But well, therefore I asked the question to the public. Thanks for your comment!

  29. IIS6 and 7 are plenty secure, and coupled with ASP.NET 2.0 are without peer for developing datacentric web sites. The only drawback is they’re not cross-platform.

  30. it quite simple

    on linux lighttpd is alot faster and a magnitude less resource usage + coupled with php fcgi is very flexible (php5 and 4 running side by side is trivial)

    on windows IIS6 has less vulnerabilities than Apache last few years, is easily configurable, and IIS7 looks very promising

    apache is an overbloated piece of monstrocity compared to lighttpd

  31. So all the big content hosts either front up with squid, or speed up with lighttpd, thttpd or litespeed. at 100’s to 1000’s of servers each that’s got to be making a dent.

    The default apache needs a trip to weight watchers to catch up. Async IO and being a dismal failure at the c10k issue ( http://www.kegel.com/c10k.html ) make people look away rather than tying to make do with apache.

    Check this out:


  32. Well Apache is the same ugly beast it was 5 years ago. It has the same flat unintuitive kludgy configuration file of old. It still uses wannabe XML to define hierarchal structures like Directories, Virtual Hosts etc. This makes it nearly impossible to provide an intuitive interface (with auto completion etc). So many developers time has been wasted over the years trying to configure apache web servers.

    A web server serves a basic purpose and as such should be considered a utility that should be just as easy to configure.

  33. I find most of the replies here very interresting, but my opinion is that you all fail to realize one critical point.

    Years ago, when Apache gained most of it’s current user base, having a graphical interface on a server was a waste of memory and cpu cycles. Installing Windows NT 4 on a server meant you had to pump up the hardware in order to accomodate it’s requirements. Linux / BSD, on the other hand, offered console-only solutions where you could basically run Apache with almost no other process.

    Nowadays, with the incredibly fast CPUs and cheap memory, having a GUI running is a logical. Hey, I even use some webservers to encode videos in realtime while they still serve webpages… Windows is fast, is huge, but offers everything from the start. Can you have an instant FTP with LDAP security and UNC root paths for all your enterprise in a few clicks on Linux? I don’t think so.

    Also, don’t forget that many companies offer optimised drivers for Windows, wheras they rely on open source or buggy / eternal-beta drivers on other OSes. This is critical in a server environment, where you choose hardware to obtain the most bang for your buck. It always comes back to this.

    At my workplace, we had a bunch of Linux, BSD and Irix systems. All working fine, but the integration with other enterprise services like Active Directory was difficult to establish and then support. Every update meant we had to double-check our integration to ensure it did not break. I had enough of this and decided to go ahead and replace the servers with brand new ones, costing way less than the previous ones did, and by going Windows, we saved a LOT of time. Everything is there – ready to be used and integrated with a few clicks. This is not laziness, this is efficiency.

  34. I personally love Apache, I have been using it for about 3 years now and have never had a problem with it, I can never remember it crashing on me once.

    I have read comments about lighthttpd and would be interested in installing it and having a little play.

    I do feel that IIS is more approachable for many companys as like some people have said above… The GUI and is easier (point and click) configuration and setup. The problem is… People that grow up today, especially here in the UK use Windows OS at school and college and therefore anyone wanting to setup a site/server is more likely to use IIS as its more of what there used too (point and click).

    In a way I find it sad that Apache’s market share has dropped, I personally love apache and I use it on both Windows (My development box) and my Ubuntu Linux Server (Production Server). I think is great how apache is a cross-platform web server and the hugh wealth of knowledge online that helps people install and configure Apache. I really hope that this will not be the end of Apache.

    I would just say that I use both Windows and Linux, I started off using Windows at school, I do still use Linux on my development PC but Im seeing the advantages of Linux and Apache… You don’t have to pay mega bucks for the operating system and the webserver.

    … Also another thought is that MS may be marketing ASP.NET better, I know alot of companys that where previously using JAVA (JSP) for large websites etc, That have recently made the switch to ASP.NET and I suppose that as IIS is the native Server OS and support by Micro$oft many companys would use IIS rather than Mono for Apache.

  35. Market share percentage is pretty arbitrary. So what, ma and pops small business website gets 74 hits a week. It’s running on jo shmo’s hosting service with 20 similar domains running on the same machine.

    Lets take a look at market share using different metrics. Websites getting 10k+ hits a day. All the sudden, a different picture is painted.

  36. I was wondering, does Tomcat figure in the stats anywhere? I’m not sure how many public sites are out there that run J2EE/Java EE, but I’m pretty sure its a significant presence in commercial web apps (although a lot of those might not be publicly accessible at all). Its been a while since I last tried, but back then it was a pain in the ass to make Apache httpd link to Tomcat, and most companies I’ve been to over the years simply just use Tomcat alone instead. I’m thinking that may be one factor for the decline of Apache web servers (as opposed to Apache Tomcat the jsp/servlet container).

  37. If you go back and read several of the other Netcraft surveys where Apache lost a significant amount of market share in a given period, you will see that much of this is due to various “big wins” with Microsoft.

    They went after the low-hanging fruit such as domain parking companies and some of the cheap web hosts with millions of pages. Here’s an example:

    Now I’m not saying that IIS hasn’t also gained “real” market share (that survey I linked says the same), but MS realizes what a psychological factor that market share percentage is, and they actively went out to cut sweetheart deals in order to help swing it in their favor.

  38. @toby: Yes, I know about BigDaddy and such alikes, but my question was referring more to the general trend: even when there where no big wins IIS won market share and Apache lost market share.
    Like in this survey: its only about 0.xx%, but in the ling run this sums up as well.

  39. IIS is better, faster and more secure than it has been, along with Windows 2003 server. Also, PHP and Java can be hosted well on IIS too which makes it a more viable alternative. IIS and Win 2003 is easier to use out of the box than trying to wrangle with httpd.conf, which makes adoption for newbies easier.

  40. Ok quick.. without thinking.. just react:

    Would Google be better/faster or worse/slower if they did a wholesale switch from linux to Windows overnight??

    That’s right.. the thought is so preposterous some of you probably spit out your drinks.

  41. > Also, PHP and Java can be hosted well on IIS too which makes it a more viable alternative.

    This is the only good reason posted for running Windows.

    Of course if you’re running java/j2ee there goes any reason to run anything Microsoft…. so no.

  42. I work at a datacenter. While I love the reliability of Unix/Linux, when it comes to managing large groups of servers, it’s a lot easier through Microsoft. Remote Desktop and Microsoft Management Console controlled through Active Directory are are tough trio of products. While there are replacements for these in Linux/Unix, they aren’t out of the box and might different from distro to distro.

  43. Apache _needs_ a configuration GUI to be supplied with the apache package, and standardised for all versions of apache.
    Such a GUI must be intuitive, and not merely designed as an untidy front end for writing config files. GTK, Qt, or even wxWidgets would be a sensible choice of toolkit.
    While the apache config format is almost workable for professional hosts, it is hopeless for home users, and those without competent IT support.
    Like many open source products, apache may be technically superior to the competition, but is has a long way to go with usability, and a poorly designed (or undesigned) config format.

  44. I’m a web developper. I use ASP.NET and IIS at work but I host several website on apache/php/mysql.

    Developping for asp.net is a real charm but working on php is not. If I had to start a new enterprise web project right now, I would probably go with asp.net. For personal projects, I would use php, python or ruby.

    I think there is a great appel for companies to choose asp.net comparing with other technologies right now and that might be one of the reasons apache is loosing market share.

  45. I agree with Iosif. The main short comming is the GUI. Apache has superior functionality. The only reason to use IIS is the ease of configuration.

  46. We use both apache and IIS. Apache is just another webserver like IIS. If you configure it wrong, you’re in trouble. This goes for both of them. What’s driving webservers is the availability of open source software and the availability of guides and howto’s. I guess ASP.NET and C# together with SQL Server 2005 personal ed. has something to do with the market growth.

  47. Right there on the Netcraft page, it tells you that PWS and other Microsoft products are included in the IIS share, just as Advanced-Extranet Server and similar products are counted as Apache.

    GoDaddy and a few others moved a bunch of parked domains over to IIS in early 2006, which helped raise their share tremendously. Still, it is rather frightening to think that large companies are willing to trust their sites and data to IIS and its underlying platform.

    And, no, security will never be point-and-click. It is always going to be an evolving and moving target, which means that site administrators will need to be actively working to secure their servers.

  48. I too work at a datacenter. This isn’t the first one that I have worked at either. We have about 1600 servers and roughly 75% of them run linux. the other 25% run win2003 (almost all of them) or win2k.

    I see more tickets come through for server compromise/os reload for windows than linux. Happens all the time.

    Now, IIS may be better than it was (that is probably true)..and Win2003 may be better than NT and or 2k for security..


    Why am I spending as much time supporting 25% of our servers running Windows as the other 75% that isn’t??

    And yes, Windows in a sense is easier to administer or manage than Linux. But when you start talking about more than just a couple of boxes it becomes much more important for the server to be reliable and secure so you DON”T have to waste time babysitting the thing. Just monitor it, perform periodic work as needed and be done with it.

    That is how you maintain 1600 servers with 4 admins.

  49. I think the stats might be off. But I will say that ASP and .NET have made an impact. A good deal of the projects I have worked on lately have used ASP instead of a java solution. I use IIS at work but APACHE at home. APACHE is an excellent application.

  50. I wonder if part of the change is due to more people are using apache as a proxy server to specialized application servers. For some applications, I use rails with mongrel. I still use Apache as a tool for serving my static content. Guess what, netcraft shows my site using mongrel rather than apache although apache does do some of the hosting. Just an idea.

  51. It drills down mainly to only ONE problem amongst existing, interested, curious and wannabe Apache adopters…

    Why can’t the Apache team make the installation and configuration more USER FRIENDLY… not everyone’s a script guru or a Apache guru FYI.. and for that, the majority of consultants across the world occasionally recommend IIS …
    Make it as simple as possible to tweak, configure and install. Are you listening to this Apache?

  52. My guess is this: Microsoft has convinced their solution providers to get the CIOs to mandate .NET across their entire platform. I know that the company I work for does primarily Rails, but we are having to do more and more .NET solutions because the really big companies are mandating .NET. I once worked with a company that had around 60 websites, all in PHP. However, they contracted someone to write a “technology plan” for them, and what do you know? It mandated that every website be written in ASP.NET! That used to be an anomaly, but this year we’ve run against that same situation several times. I think Microsoft is pushing top-level know-nothing managers into mandating ASP.NET as a required infrastructural piece across their entire company.

  53. Do these statistics definitely reflect that microsoft is losing market share at the same time that apache is losing it? There are many other specialized servers that are way better at serving files or pictures than apache is. I figure its just a natural thing as the market matures for webservers to become more specialized.

  54. “I see more tickets come through for server compromise/os reload for windows than linux”

    Can you be specific? What is a compromise and if restart due to update is a ticket?

    What are the app(s) on both? What is the configuration for each?

  55. Well, as lot of people had commented already. Statistics sometimes are misleading unless you take good note of it. Decline in market share does not necessarily mean that apache is loosing.

    I guess, the gain of apache is somehow linked with GNU/Linux because since the launch of Vista, GNU/Linux appears not to be in hot news & debate as much as before and generally people link Apache to Linux.

    This could be a factor.


  56. I think the answer is really simple. People wants to have someone to which complain when something goes wrong, with apache you can’t complain, you can ask for an answer to your problem and if someone is good enough to answer then you would solve the problem. But with IIS if something goes wrong you call Microsoft and they HAVE to listen to your problem and try to fix it.

  57. The main problem with Apache installations is the large amount of knowledge you need to a) make it work b) make it work as you like and c) large amount of time you need to introduce a new admin into the framework you built up on your Apache.
    Modularity is a plus, individuality too – but products like IIS are more predictable. They might not allow you exactly what you want to do, but for most products running on a webserver in a “normal” company IIS is the simpler solution

  58. @El panadero: Sorry, but that is just dull. What about Novell, What about Red Hat, etc.? They all are simple companies which have to react to complains, and of course they have developers working at Apache.

  59. These are mostly GoDaddy any other domain name registrars holding pages for new domains. I used to work for Web.com, and we were startled last year when our internal numbers on Microsoft market share practically doubled over night. We found a week or so later that GoDaddy moved all of their parked domains to be hosted on a Windows server. Microsoft, from what I’ve been told, paid dearly to make that happen, as they knew it would increase their marketshare numbers in one fail swoop.

  60. Ted: As I already said, I know about GoDaddy – but I am asking for reasons besides GoDaddy. Because: even if you smooth out the GoDaddy effect you still one single trend regarding the percentage over years now: down!

  61. I think new server technologies like mongrel and ruby on rails are taking over the scene. Although mongrel coupled with apache is a very powerful combination. Ruby on rails is going to explode even more, and we might see a quick shift of the internet’s evolution. Desktop software is a thing of the past?

    -C2 Global Technologies
    Ruby on Rails and Web 2.0 Developers.

  62. Why is Apache slipping? How about because Apache is not dead easy to set up by newbies. There is no “first time Wizard” that helps a complete newbie to get their new Apache server off the ground with some commonly needed settings.

    The Apache project should not rest on its laurels, wondering why it’s slipping, but rather work at making Apache dead simple to install and use. How many newbies are tenacious enough to figure out they need to start hand-editing httpd.conf, and them create themselves a virtualhost conf file in the conf.d directory? About zero of them!

  63. Pingback: Just Headlines
  64. Actually, it is possible to set up a “secure” web server with a couple of clicks … on mac os x. Just check the box “Personal Web Sharing” and a nice apache server starts right up. Not secure as in SSL, but secure as in … it’s apache. Maybe that IS the state of the IT community — you just have to know where to look if that’s what you want to do.

  65. I have been using Apache for over a decade and I have become frustrated with its performance. Constant tuning has helped, but Apache 2.x is showing its age. Many experienced webmasters are looking for alternatives and many are taking a hard look at IIS 7 because of the ability to incorporate new technology without giving up old technology available through PHP. Also, I am not alone in trying to better leverage server resources. With rising energy costs, it is no longer good enough to throw more server resources at problems. Therefore, we need more robust underlying technology. This is driving the search for alternatives and willingness to field test Apache’s competitors on new sites or parts of existing ones.

  66. It’s nice MS is discovering UNIX best practices of decades past [ http://www.linuxtoday.com/infrastructure/2007050402126OPLL ]. I suppose IIS and Windows really are as secure as the open source competitors. Really. Really.

    Actually, it is shameful that without revealing their code to the public, so many Microsoft product vulnerabilities have been found and made public. How can a closed product under such high secrecy be so flawed that the published vulnerabilities (eg, slowly reversed engineered) are in the ballpark (or much worse) of the number of vulnerabilities published for open source products? Obviously, with such an impediment to security analysts, the MS vulnerabilities discovered tend to be a selection of the more serious types (unlike the open source ones where most are not critical). It’s too much trouble (for white hats) to deduce the probably thousands of unpublished MS less serious vulnerabilities that exist. When Friends of Swiss Cheese MS talk numbers, they forget to mention these little footnotes [1: MS products are likely so full of bugs because so many vulnerabilities are discovered without even the help of the source code. 2: Even without source code, more *serious* vulnerabilities are discovered for MS products than for the open source ones].

    With so few white hats analyzing MS code (too expensive to reverse engineer it), I wonder how many bugs exist which the black hats know about but obviously haven’t made public (black hats can make millions per flaw discovered and kept secret). It’s such a rotten shame for users of MSware that white hats don’t have the incentives to reverse engineer but black hats do. With open source, there are a lot *more* white hats that can analyze and patch problems earlier in time.

    That’s MS closed source for you: keeping the Microsoft flaws secret, so that bloggers and posters can unofficially make the wild claims that MS-ware is just as secure as open source.

    Really. MS-ware is just as secure as open source. Really.

  67. Why is everybody trying to compare Apache to IIS ? I’ve just looked at the graph on the Netcraft survey and you are all barking up the wrong tree.

    IIS market share has been flat since August 2006, whilst apache has continued to drift down during this time, so whereever these former Apache users are going, it isn’t to IIS. There is a big dip in apache and a spike in IIS figures about March-May 2006, which roughly equates to the time of the GoDaddy switch over. This spike in IIS market share represents the only significant change in IIS market share since november 2003. This means that other than the one significant GoDaddy win for IIS, it hasn’t significantly gained ground for over 3 years and prior to this IIS market share was going down.

    What has happened is that other webservers have become more popular and dented the adoption rate of apache, hence causing a fall in the market share of apache.

    So sorry, IIS fans, IIS may be better than it was, but whereever these users are going it isn’t to IIS.

  68. Flossie, please read the additional information provided by Netcraft – they explain the spike after August 2006. It was due to the fact that Google’s Webserver was now counted on its own and not as an Apache type.
    Therefore, this spike is due to measurement methods and not, as you indicate, due to users moving to other servers.

    Also, I can only repeat what I already have written several times: I had my focus on small gains of IIS compared to small loses of Apache. Of course these are just small numbers (0.x% points), but they add up over the time.

    All big changes are not relevant (GoDaddy, Google) because they were singular events.

  69. Apache will always be Apache..
    GFE is for Google.. but developers and businesses will always use Apache…
    Anyway I am looking for a versus data sheet for GFE vs Apache..
    Kyliptix Solutions

  70. I have been trying to figure out why apache keep losing market share. I am a programmer for LAMP/WAMP.

    One of the answer my friend told me is that the technologies “around” IIS like Office 2007, Sharepoint server, asp.net etc, are growing very fast.

    Microsoft no longer told their client about how good IIS vs apache.

    They now provide complete solutions for the majority of non-technical companies to get their business problem solved.

    And most of the “solutions” require the clients to install a series of underlying technologies/softwares (which includes IIS).

    More and more people nowadays unknowingly installed IIS as part of the “solution” for their business needs.

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