Microsoft Creates a Prototype HTTP 2.0 Server


Redmond looks for influence on the next-generation HTTP specification with the new server tool dubbed "Katana."

Microsoft has created a prototype HTTP 2.0 web server called "Katana." The new server implements the HTTP 2.0 draft specification, which was released by the IETF on July 9, 2013. HTTP 2.0 is still a work in progress, and the IETF HTTPbis Working Group is still proposing changes and receiving feedback that will be included in the eventual standard.

The HTTPbis group started with the concept of basing the next-generation HTTP on Google's SPDY protocol, which is designed for "low-latency transport of content over the World Wide Web." New features supporting service priorities and multiple concurrent requests reportedly allow SPDY to load pages more than 60% faster than conventional web tools with current technologies. Using SPDY as a starting point, the group plans to add additional features and enhancements to build the eventual HTTP 2.0 specification.

Microsoft, which has long been wary of letting arch-rival Google dictate anything as important as a new HTTP protocol, has been working on its own version for some time, and the prototype server has implemented the SPDY features included with the draft specification, along with a few of Microsoft's own improvements.

The Katana server is available through Microsoft's Open Tech group.


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