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Netcraft on IIS: Whole Lotta Rippin' n Replacin' Goin' On

Web server research outfit Netcraft finds that 131,417 sites ripped and replaced Microsoft Internet Information Servers in October, amid growing concerns about the Microsoft Web server platform's security.

Netcraft released the numbers Thursday in its monthly Web server survey. Netcraft monthly pings millions of sites to determine what Web server and operating system software they use to host their Internet infrastructures.

Microsoft has taken heavy criticism because of the high profile, destructive worms such as Code Red variants and Nimda that took advantage of long-patched vulnerabilities in IIS and other Microsoft software. The most stinging attack came when respected IT analyst house Gartner recommended that IT organizations consider replacing IIS with competing Web servers.

In September, Netcraft noted that roughly 150,000 Microsoft-IIS sites on 80,000 IP addresses were pulled from the Web in the wake of the worm attacks. However, during that month, Netcraft found only around 2,000 of those IP addresses were running a competing Web server.

In October, the story was different. Many Microsoft competitors launched so-called "competitive upgrade" campaigns -- the types of marketing programs designed to lure customers from a wounded competitor.

"Ironically, the lion's share of the 131,417 sites which have moved from Microsoft-IIS, have moved to Apache which has no explicit campaign to encourage Microsoft-IIS sites to transition to the server," Netcraft writes. Converts from Windows with IIS to the open source Web server include fatbrain.com, auctions.zdnet.com, electronics.cnet.com and www.nba.com, according to Netcraft.

Netcraft reports that 1,709 former Microsoft IIS sites moved to Sun-Netscape's iPlanet and 1,506 went to Zeus.

Microsoft grew its overall market share to nearly 29 percent with 9.6 million sites, about half the number running Apache, although Apache lost some share this month. Among active sites, Microsoft took a hit, dropping from 3.9 million sites in September to 3.6 million in October, largely due to large hoster homestead.com's decision to change its business model and start charging to host homepages.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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