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Webserver statistics : Do not always trust figures

Statistics can sometimes be tricky, depending how you view them.

For example, Netcraft's last Webserver survey showed a very sharp increase in the number of Windows servers (up by 4.5 million) while Linux based servers dropped by 429,000.

Closer analysis of figures showed that Godaddy, one of the world's biggest domain name registrars, moved all its servers from Linux/Apache to Windows/Internet Information Server.

Similarly, some big names web-hosters based in UK and US, also reduced their Linux based significantly.

Like any classical statistics, Netcraft shows how sensitive numbers can be to abrupt changes.

Linux-watch and a few observers on the Internet are convinced that there is more than meets the eye.

More precisely, that Microsoft is targeting specific large customers to get numbers moving (even if it means losing money); just like lost leader products in a supermarket do attract customers.

All in all, even if some might criticise it, it is still a fair game.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.