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Netcraft Finds Drop in Absolute Number of Web Sites

The number of Web sites found by the U.K.-based Internet research firm Netcraft's monthly survey dropped in December, marking only the second time the absolute number of sites has dropped since the survey started in August 1995.

Netcraft attributes the drop primarily to a decline in the number of registered domain names.

"Domains bought during the rampant domain-name speculation of late 1999 are now coming up for two-year renewal, and many are being abandoned," Netcraft wrote in its analysis of the month's figures. "Domain-name speculation accelerated during 2000, so it will be interesting to see how the number of sites changes during 2002."

Possible mitigating factors are the introduction of the new domains such as .biz and increasing Internet development in other parts of the world, Netcraft noted.

The only other time the absolute number of sites dropped in the Netcraft monthly survey was in August as organizations responded to the Code Red-related attacks.

Among active sites, the open-source Apache Web server leads Microsoft IIS sites 63 percent to 27 percent, holding to a ratio that has remained fairly stable all year.

Microsoft picked up about 300,000 sites in December, while Apache picked up about 800,000. The No. 3 iPlanet Web server lost ground, losing about 50,000 sites to hold less than 3 percent share.

The Netcraft Web Server Survey may be found at http://www.netcraft.com/survey.

About the Author

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

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