Netscape Communications leads Microsoft in Web server software revenue, according to a new report by Dataquest, which also predicts the market will heat up as the XML standard lures more vendors into the arena.
?The Internet arena struggled to make money,? said Dataquest analyst Kathryn Hale in the report. Web server software sales, despite 88 percent year over year growth, amounted to a modest $246 million in 1997. This sum includes high-end and low-end Internet and Intranet servers.
About half of this money ended up in the hands of Netscape. Microsoft came second in revenue, despite its larger installed base, with a 16 percent share. Lotus/IBM took third position.
The low total revenues are partly caused by the high proportion of free Web servers, such as Microsoft?s basic Internet Information Server (IIS) and the free source code for Apache server. Giving away IIS appears to have worked well for Microsoft; the company holds a 40 percent share of the installed base of Web servers, Dataquest estimates. Netscape is second, with a 28 percent share, and Apache comes third.
There are currently 1.6 million Web servers installed worldwide, the report states. This figure refers to the number of physical servers because one server can host any number of Web sites.
Dataquest predicts that the Web server software market is about to grow as more vendors begin to focus on it. According to Hale, the Extendable Mark-up Language (XML) standard will drive Web server growth. ?XML creates a structured environment,? she said. ?It?s HTML done right.?
XML will lure new contenders into the Web server software market such as Enterprise Resource Planning and business intelligence vendors, Hale said, because ?each vendor is trying to leverage its own customer base?.
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