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Microsoft Gains, Apache/Linux Declines in Web Server Market

Microsoft Corp. took a big chunk of the Web server market this month at the expense of Apache running on Linux, as a major domain registrar moved to the Windows platform, a research and security firm said Thursday.

The Redmond, Wash., company gained a 4.7 percent share while the open-source alternative fell 5.9 percent, making the shift one of the largest one-month swings on record, U.K.-based Netcraft Ltd. said. Microsoft's bonanza was driven by domain registrar Go Daddy migrating 3.5 million hostnames from Linux to Windows.

Nevertheless, Apache remains by far the leading Web server with nearly 63 percent of the market as of April, according to Netcraft. Microsoft is a distant second at 25 percent.

The recent shift means Go Daddy becomes the world's largest Windows Server 2003 host from being the biggest Linux host, as measured by hostnames, Netcraft said. The company plans to move 4.4 million hostnames to the Windows platform.

Technology trends among registrars traditionally have a big impact on the Web server market. Microsoft's last big surge came in 2001 to 2002, and was driven by migrations at Register.com and VeriSign, Netcraft said. GoDaddy is the second huge registrar to make the shift, since a recent move by ENom Inc.

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