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Windows NT TCP/IP Network Administration by Robert Bruce Thompson, Craig Hunt

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Chapter 10. Internet Information Server (IIS)

Microsoft jumps into anything they do with both feet. When Microsoft belatedly noticed the Internet phenomenon, they were caught with their collective pants down. Without any products to address the needs of this exploding new market segment, they believed themselves to be in danger of losing market share to the new guys on the block—read Netscape. As anyone familiar with Microsoft might guess, they pulled out all the stops to get competitive products to market as soon as possible. On the client side, they bought rights to a third-party web browser, renamed it Internet Explorer, and turned it into a world-class browser in record time. On the server side, they created a multi-purpose product called Internet Information Server, or IIS for short.

IIS has grown in Internet time. Microsoft cobbled together a quick and dirty IIS 1.0 and released it as an update to Windows NT Server 3.51. It wasn’t much more than a placeholder, but at least it got the ball rolling. When Windows NT Server 4.0 was released, it bundled IIS 2.0, a significant upgrade that filled most of the gaping holes and killed most of the bugs in IIS 1.0. Still, the major third-party web server vendors like Netscape and O’Reilly weren’t too worried—IIS2 couldn’t compete with their feature sets.

When Microsoft shipped IIS3, the third party vendors started to sweat. Microsoft was giving away a product that compared favorably in features and performance with their expensive commercial ...

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