Open Source Apache overtakes Microsoft IIS in SSL Servers
Apache has overtaken Microsoft as the leading developer of secure web servers. Apache now runs on 44.0% of secure web sites, compared to 43.8% for Microsoft.
As the original developers of the SSL protocol, Netscape started out with a lead in the SSL server market. But they were soon overtaken by Microsoft's Internet Information Server, which within a few years held a steady 40-50% of the SSL server market.
Apache has taken much longer to reach the top. Version 1 of Apache did not include SSL support : in the 1990s, US export controls, and the patent on the RSA algorithm in the US, meant that cryptographic support for open source projects had to be developed outside of the US, and were distributed separately. Several independent projects provided SSL support for Apache, including Apache-SSL and mod_ssl; but commercial spin-offs, like Stronghold by c2net (later bought by Red Hat), were more popular at that time. Netcraft: Apache Now the Leader in SSL Servers
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