Microsoft Improves PHP performance in IIS

Microsoft has been cooking this up for over a year and working with other folks in the PHP community. I haven't run any benchmarks against it, but it does respond faster in the limited testing I did (not having a lot of PHP applications) on my XP box.

For those that are more comfortable managing IIS over Apache, this makes PHP a more viable option over ASP or ASP.NET. It's a smart move on Microsoft's part to embrace PHP over IIS as it would allow them to gain traction in the general web marketplace where Apache still is the dominant player over IIS.

Since early 2006, Microsoft and Zend have been working together on a technical collaboration with the PHP community to significantly enhance the reliability and performance of PHP on Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008. As part of this collaboration, the IIS product group has been working on a new component for IIS6 and IIS7 called FastCGI Extension which will enable IIS to much more effectively host PHP applications.

Today Microsoft is eager to announce availability of the Go Live release of Microsoft FastCGI Extension for IIS 5.1/6.0 (FastCGI Extension) as a free download. The Go Live release is the last step in the Microsoft beta process and represents the highest level of quality and reliability. For the first time, customers have a license that permits them to deploy the FastCGI Extension on their production Internet Information Services 6.0 (IIS 6) Web servers.

Download: FastCGI Extension for IIS6.0 and IIS5.1 (32/64 bit)
Link: FastCGI Forums on
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black_death said,
Well it's about time! Most people will use Apache anyways but some less experienced people migth want to use IIS with PHP.
Or some more experienced people might want to use PHP with IIS, when IIS is all they have available, as in work situations.

Lant said,
I thought this is why we had ISAPI things...
Is this faster than ISAPI?

Thats not the purpose. The purpose is to allow PHP based scripts to run on IIS, instead of being forced to run PHP scripts on a Linux based Apache server which traditionally always has PHP installed.

I had the same question as jivemaster and it looks like yes, we still have to install PHP. This extension just improves how IIS runs PHP.

It's a real pain in the arse to install and run PHP on IIS, and I'm not sure this eases the pain all that much, but it looks like a step in the right direction.