Apache, the open source web server software, continues to widen its lead over competitors, according to the Netcraft Web Server Survey, an analysis of web server software usage on Internet-connected computers. NetCraft collects and collates as many host names providing an HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol) service as it can find, and systematically polls each one with an HTTP request for the server name.
Of the total of 38.4 million sites identified by Netcraft in February 2002, Apache was running on 22.5 million servers, giving it a 58.4% share of sites surveyed. This compares with 20.9 million in January 2002, or a 56.9% share of the market.
Second-place contender Microsoft (which saw use of its IIS web server software suffer in 2001 over security fears) experienced a slight rise in use, but continues to lose market share. Netcraft identified 11.2 million servers using IIS, compared with 11.1 million a month earlier, but reported a drop in share of sites surveyed to 29.1%, from 30.3% in January 2002.
iPlanet, a unit of Sun Microsystems' software business, is the third choice, primarily because it owns the Netscape Enterprise web server software. However, deployment of Netscape Enterprise is dwindling. As a result, iPlanet's share of sites surveyed dropped to 2.9%, or 1.1 million, from 3.6%, or 1.3 million, a month earlier.