New Poll Shows Microsoft Gaining Web Server Share

SiteMetrics Corp. (San Jose, Calif., released the results of its Third Internet Server Survey of 53,000 Web sites owned by the largest U.S. enterprises.

The survey found that the top three suppliers, Apache, Netscape and Microsoft increased their combined share to 83 percent, up from 78 percent found in the first survey conducted in February 1998.

Microsoft appears to be the primary driver of this consolidation, according to SiteMetrics, gaining more than 6.4 share points in the six months since the first survey. The most recent survey found Apache retains the overall lead with 36 percent followed by Microsoft with nearly 28 percent and Netscape with 19 percent.

Among the largest enterprises with annual revenue exceeding $1 billion, Netscape continues to lead with a 33 percent share of the more than 4,300 large company domains surveyed. This represents a 6-share point lead over Apache and Microsoft in this revenue segment. However, Netscape's lead in this revenue segment narrowed from the more than 14-point difference found in the February survey.

The survey identified a significant number of Web sites that switched from one server software provider to another. More than 17 percent of the sites included in all three surveys were found to have switched at least once in the past six months. In the most recent three months, over 8 percent of the Web sites surveyed switched from one provider to another.

The largest gains were made by Microsoft, who saw more than 1,140 sites switch from Apache, Netscape or other providers to Microsoft IIS. The largest losses were among the smaller vendors who lost more than 1,130 sites to Apache, Microsoft, Netscape or others.

The initial results would seem to conflict somewhat with an October survey of 3,358,969 sites performed by Netcraft (Bath, England, that reported Apache as garnering a 52 percent share, while Microsoft's IIS followed with 23 percent and Netscape at 5 percent. Those results were taken by systematically polling each site with an HTTP request. That survey is available at

A fully detailed, 210-page research report titled "Internet Server Software Trend Report" is now available for purchase. More information about this report and additional highlights from this survey can be found at

SiteMetrics Corp. measures and benchmarks the performance, functionality and visibility of corporate Web sites. SiteMetrics Corp. began quarterly surveys of commercial Web sites owned by the largest U.S. businesses in January 1998. The survey has grown to include more than 50,000 commercial U.S. domains owned by 30,000 of the largest businesses. --Brian Ploskina, Assistant Editor

About the Author

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