Is Microsoft Paying Few Companies to Move Parked Domains to Windows, Thereby Gaming Netcraft Numbers?
Gaming, not gaining
Summary: Media ignores the fact that Nobis and GoDaddy (many millions of parked domains) is why Netcraft shows gains for Microsoft
TECHRIGHTS spent a considerable amount of time explaining why Netcraft statistics are not accurate (e.g. site ranks, which can be rigged by even a single person). It’s not purely Netcraft’s fault and it’s not an isolated case. They’re a small entity which is easy to game and Microsoft sure likes gaming statistics. It sometimes makes it look like Netcraft promotes Microsoft, but the reality is quite different. To repeat what we quoted half a decade ago:
“It’s part of a continuing behavior pattern by Microsoft that I think it’s fair to call “dirty fighting.” GoDaddy was using Apache (I assume on Linux) because it was a great technical solution. They didn’t switch to IIS on Windows Server 2003 for any technical reason. The switch was accompanied by a press release by GoDaddy, containing Microsoft promotional language. Now, I’ve changed many servers from one thing to another, but I’ve never made a press release about it. GoDaddy wouldn’t be doing that unless Microsoft had offered them something valuable in return. There has been talk in the domain business that Microsoft has been offering the large domain registries a wad of cash to switch their parked sites. There is no other reason to do this than to influence the Netcraft figures.”
For those who have now seen the disinformation yet (same as above, but this time involving Nobis, not just the horrible, Internet-hostile giant GoDaddy), there exist Microsoft-friendly sites with deceiving headlines that hardly tell the story as it is, citing this automatically-produced summary from Netcraft. Bending the rules of exploiting a weakness in them, Microsoft seems to be doing it again. To quote Muktware: “If we look at Microsoft’s recent gain which gives them 32.8% of the market, comes solely from one player Nobis. Since it’s not a gradual market shift from Apache to IIS, we can’t see it as a trend. Last year Microsoft made similar gain when GoDaddy moved around 9 million sites to Microsoft server.
“So what it looks like is the ‘created’ gain is coming from Microsoft’s deal with big players instead of a trend in the market where clients are deliberately switching from Apache to Microsoft severs.”
People in comments and forums seem unprepared to point this out, so even on a Sunday night we wanted to get the word out. The real competition to Apache right now is Google’s hosting (Apache-based) and nginx, which gains in the BSD camp [1,2] and even attracts some interest from the GPL community . Microsoft’s market share has been consistently declining for years, so it seems probable that Microsoft pays Nobis in some way or another in order to change perceptions. Don’t let them get away with it. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
In a move that surprises no one at this point,
OpenBSD is in the process of pulling the Apache 1.3.x web server it has been maintaining on its own for what seems like forever and replacing it with the hot web server of the 2010s — nginx.