Internet growing at record pace, Apache losing ground quickly

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Chicago (IL) – The Internet is growing on a faster rate than ever before and is quickly approaching a size of 150 million websites, according to survey results released by Netcraft. Apache remains the most popular software running web servers, but it is surrendering market shares to Microsoft and Google at a dramatic rate.

Netcraft said that it detected 142,805,398 web sites during its monthly web server survey. The October result is about 7.6 million sites higher than in the previous month. The internet is currently growing at a rate of 5% a month and is adding more sites per month than in any other month in the survey’s history. The main drivers behind this new growth are MySpace, Microsoft Live and Google Blogger, which gained more than 1 million sites each in the last month alone.

As a result, Apache-powered servers are in a freefall in terms of market shares in the Internet landscape. Apache is, according to Netcraft, installed on 47.73% of web servers, which is down from 60.64% in January (Apache’s all-time high was in November 2005 with a share of 70.98%). In the same time frame, Microsoft IIS was able to increase its share from 30.67% to 37.13% in the same time frame. In absolute numbers, Apache gained about 1 million sites over the past month, while Microsoft IIS gained more than 3 million.

Netcraft said that October is the first month in which Microsoft software is running on more than 50 million web servers worldwide.  

Google is also marching into the web hosting territory: The firm’s software now running 7.8 million sites – or 5.44% of all Internet sites.