Firefox Makes Gains as RSS Reader

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%).

The Firefox browser autodetects the availablility of an RSS feed for a site, and can integrate feeds using Live Bookmarks feature or extensions such as Sage.

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Go Daddy Enters Dedicated Server, VPS Markets

Domain registrar Go Daddy has begun selling virtual private servers (VPS) and dedicated servers, continuing an expansion that helped it become one of the fastest-growing hosting providers of 2004 in our Hosting Provider Switching Analysis. The move comes as the Scottsdale, Ariz. provider is preparing a major publicity campaign to increase its visibility, kicked off by a Super Bowl ad.

Go Daddy is using SWSoft's Virtuozzo to power its VPS offering, following in the footsteps of EV1Servers, which announced a major VPS hosting initiative in September. VPS uses "virtual partitions" that allow a single machine to be used by multiple customers, with better security than shared hosting but many of the features of a dedicated server. While it has been a pioneer in discount pricing of domains and shared hosting, Go Daddy's dedicated server offerings start at $219 a month and VPS at $39.95 a month, well above the offerings of current price leaders in those categories.

Discount dedicated servers have been enormously popular in recent years, driving huge growth for EV1Servers and a succession of competitors who matched or undercut its $99 a year pricing. Hosting resellers and resource-intensive web sites have been the primary users of dedicated offerings, but the customer pool has expanded dramatically as prices decreased, making them more accessible to sites previously housed on shared servers.

Go Daddy Growth (Active Sites)

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Infrastructure A Driver In Six Apart-LiveJournal Deal

The blogosphere is abuzz over Six Apart's acquisition of Danga Interactive, the operators of the popular LiveJournal blogging service. Amid the debates about blog culture and whether online diaries will be "monetized," little has been said about a key driver of the deal - the hosting backend, where Six Apart hopes to leverage LiveJournal's experience scaling a Perl-based hosting architecture to maximize revenue-per-server.

Six Apart publishes Movable Type and operates the paid blog hosting service TypePad. LiveJournal is a free blog service based on open source code with more than 2.5 million active accounts, with the majority of its users between the ages of 14 and 22. About 860,000 of those blogs are updated at least once a week.

The deal comes amid growing interest in blogging's commercial potential, and comes a year after Google purchased Blogspot, LiveJournal's chief competitor in the free blogging space. LiveJournal's services will remain free and its code will remain open, which was a concern in light of Six Apart's rocky free-to-paid transition for Movable Type last May.

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Datapipe most reliable hosting company site during second half of 2004

Of the leading hosting company sites monitored by Netcraft over the second half of 2004 only one hosting company site amassed over a day’s downtime during the period, while at the other end of the spectrum, seventeen providers went through the entire six months with no outages at all.

From a customers’ point of view, the percentage of failed requests is more pertinent than outages on the hosting companies’ own sites, as this gives a pointer to reliability of routing, and this is why we choose to rank our table by fewest failed requests, rather than shortest periods of outage. Six hosting companies went through the period with 0.2% or less of requests failing from our seven measurement points.

Four companies in the top 10 were also in the corresponding top 10 a year ago, with Datapipe moving from second place last year to top the chart. Other companies in last years list include Pair Networks and iPowerWeb.

The distribution of operating systems commonly used by hosting companies amongst the sites is quite even with three of the top ten sites running on each of Windows, FreeBSD and Linux.

Ranking by Failed Requests and Connection Time,
July 1st - December 31st 2004


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January 2005 Web Server Survey

In the January 2005 survey we received responses from 58,194,836 sites, a robust gain of 1.27 million sites from the December survey.

After months of little change in market share between the two major web servers, Apache added nearly a full percentage point to its lead over Microsoft, which is now 47.5 percentage points (68.4% to 20.9%) as measured by hostnames, with a slightly smaller gain in active sites.

While this month's 1 percent shift is modest by historic standards, it follows a 12-month period in which Apache's lead grew by just 0.09 percent (from 46.56 to 46.65%), despite adding 7.6 million sites between Dec. 2003 and Dec. 2004. Microsoft added 2.46 million sites during the same period.

Total Sites Across All Domains August 1995 - January 2005

Total Sites Across All Domains, August 1995 - January 2005

Graph of market share for top servers across all domains, August 1995 - January 2005

Top Developers
DeveloperDecember 2004PercentJanuary 2005PercentChange

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