The open source Firefox web browser has made headlines as it chips away at the dominant market position of Microsoft's Internet Explorer. But Firefox is also grabbing market share as an RSS reader, according to new data from RSS service provider Feedburner, which says the browser is now the third-most popular RSS client in its usage stats.
Feedburner's data, based on an analysis of its 800 most popular feeds, show that web-based feedreader Bloglines is the clear market leader with 32.8 percent of the volume, followed by the NetNewsWire client for Mac OS X with 16.9 percent. Firefox is next with 7.8 percent, placing it ahead of established RSS clients including Pluck (7.2%), NewsGator (4.5%), FeedDemon (3.8%) and the web-based My Yahoo (2.6%).(more...)
With just hours left before Microsoft discontinues most support for Windows NT4, many blue-chip companies and e-commerce providers continue to run their web sites on the eight year old operating system, although the last Fortune 100 holdout has migrated.
Microsoft has retired NT4, which was introduced in September 1996, and will cease security updates on Dec. 31, along with pay-per-incident support. Microsoft recently said it will offer only custom support on to users of Windows NT 4.0 Server after Jan. 1. As a result, the number of holdouts running web sites on NT4 has been dwindling. Only 1.4 percent of web-facing hostnames run on Windows NT4/98, according to this month's Web Server Survey, down from 5.3 percent at the start of 2003.
The UK's FTSE 100 is not as far along, with six member companies still using NT4, following retailer Next PLC's Christmas Eve upgrade to Windows Server 2003. While Britain's banks have urged customers to update their computers, several large financial firms (including Lloyds TSB, Legal & General and F&C Asset Management) continue to run their public web sites on Windows NT4. Other FTSE 100 firms continuing to use NT4 include Tomkins, Allied Dome and BB&G.
Another NT4 user is Diebold, the security firm whose systems are widely used in bank cash machines and electronic voting.
Netcraft monitors over 23K hostnames for the top 1.5K Enterprises (Fortune 1K, FT European 500, FT Asia Pacific, FT Japan, FT Eastern Europe) on a monthly basis, providing details of web technology. Contact us for details of the commercial dataset.
Network Solutions is among a number of domain registrars who have automatically locked down all domain names registered by its customers to prevent errant transfers under new ICANN guidelines on domain transfers, which take effect Friday.
But some domain providers say concerns about fraudulent transfers are overblown, noting that ICANN's guidelines still require registrars requesting a transfer from another provider to seek approvals. If all the new ICANN rules are followed, the domain owner should be required to approve any changes with the new registrar - but not their current registrar.
"Much of the fear regarding this change in policy stems from the assumption that a Gaining Registrar will be violating the policy and submitting requests that have not been properly validated," DynDNS notes in a message to customers. "It is our firm belief that no registrar is going to do that, as it would likely result in the termination of their accreditation by ICANN if performed on any significant scale."
Other registrars appear more concerned, and are advising customers to lock domains ahead of the new ICANN policy, which places stricter guidelines on how "losing" domain registrars handle transfer requests. Domain locking prevents changes in the registrar, contact information and nameservers for a domain, and is offered by most registrars.(more...)
Domain registrars are warning customers that their domain names could become easier to hijack as a change in domain transfer rules takes effect Friday. Under new rules set by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), domain transfer requests will be automatically approved in five days unless they are explicitly denied by the current registrar.
This is a change from current procedure, in which a domain's ownership and nameservers remain unchanged if the current registrar receives no response from a domain owner to a transfer request. Update: Some domain providers say concerns about fraudulent transfers are overblown, noting that ICANN's guidelines still require registrars requesting a transfer from another provider to seek approvals from a domain owner.
The changes could mean trouble for domain owners who don't closely manage their records. Registrars are warning that domains with incorrect e-mail addresses and outdated administrative contact information could be at particular risk, as the domain's WHOIS database information will be used to inform domain owners of transfer requests.(more...)
Another large hosting company has hitched its growth ambitions to cheap domain pricing, and seen an immediate payoff. Interland dropped its one-year domain price to $7.95, and was rewarded with a gain of 132,147 new sites (hostnames not listed in last month's Web Server Survey).
The price cut snaped a period of mediocre growth for Interland, which had averaged just 10.3K new sites per month over the previous five months. That's considerably less than the average monthly gain of 36.7K new sites over the same period for Yahoo, one of Interland's chief competitors in the small business shared hosting market. Yahoo's numbers have strengthened since August, when it lowered its domain pricing to $9.95 per year.
Interland's move continued a trend in which leading hosting companies are using aggressive domain pricing to acquire new business. Seven of the top 20 hosting providers (as measured by hostnames) now sell domain names for $9.95 a year or less.
Retail Domain Name Prices, November 2004 Company One-year
Primary Business  Primary Region 1&1 Internet AG $5.99 Mixed Hosting Europe EV1Servers $6.49 Dedicated Hosting America Hostway $6.95 Shared Hosting America Sipence (eNom) $6.95 Domain Registrar America AIT Domains $6.95 Mixed Hosting America Interland $7.95 Mixed Hosting America Web.com $7.95 Mixed Hosting America Go Daddy Inc $8.70 Domain Registrar America Yahoo $9.95 Shared Hosting America RegisterFly $9.99 Domain Registrar America Netcetera $12.98 Mixed Hosting Europe Dotster $14.95 Domain Registrar America FastHosts/UKReg $16.48 Mixed Hosting Europe Pipex/123Reg $16.67 Mixed Hosting Europe Network Solutions $34.99 Domain Registrar America Register.com $35.00 Domain Registrar America
Diebold, whose electronic voting systems will be widely used in the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 2, continues to run its public web site on Windows NT4, forgoing newer Microsoft operating systems.
Windows NT4 was officially retired in 2001, and Microsoft is scheduled to discontinue security patches and all other support on Dec. 31. As a result, the number of holdouts running web sites on NT4 is dwindling. Only 1.5 percent of web-facing hostnames run on Windows NT4/98, according to this month's Web Server Survey, down from 5.3 percent at the start of 2003. Only one member of the Fortune 100 (Kroger) and eight companies in the UK's FTSE 100 continue to operate their web sites on Windows NT4.
Diebold's choice of operating system for its web site has no direct impact upon the security of its voting systems. But it seems a curious decision for a security company whose systems are under considerable scrutiny due to their importance in the upcoming election.(more...)