I'm not a big fan of "market share" analysis in the web server space as its a little unclear to me what the right way is to count servers. I think it's the case that Netcraft defines market share to be the number of sites using that web server rather than the actual number of installed servers. So shared servers get counted multiple times and a giant server cluster gets counted once. It's unclear to me whether subdomains are counted.
It's also interesting to question whether parked sites are counted in "market share".
Looking at the graph and assuming that it has some validity, I can see that IIS increased its "market share" by 10% back when ActiveX was becoming popular but then declined back 10% over the next two years.
It's "market share" then surged 15% between February 2006 and July 2006, leveling off for the next year before that little uptick this summer. I could possibly guess that this might be related to .NET 2.0, but who really knows. These "surges" are very suspicious to me.
BTW, a significant portion of the "decline" in Apache's market share could be attributed to lighttpd, another open source web server, and to Google, which runs their own proprietary static web server for their basic hosting.
Hey, I have nothing against Microsoft. Their .NET framework is a very nice piece of software engineering and is enterprise-ready.
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