back to article Microsoft to pull support for PHP: Version 8? Exterminate, more like...

Born-again open-source fan Microsoft is celebrating 25 years of PHP by, er, pulling its support for the scripting language that is beloved (or dreaded) by server operators the world over. Microsoft engineer Dale Hirt confirmed the change on the PHP mailing list, warning that the Windows behemoth was not "going to be supporting …

  1. Peter2 Silver badge

    The server configuration that PHP runs on is termed LAMP for good reason, and it doesn't have Windows in it.

    1. Sam Liddicott

      Another server configuration that PHP runs on termed WIMP for good reason, and it DOES have windows in it.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        yeah, so I wonder what "Extend" is to be offered in lieu of PHP 8...

        I fear "P#"... or I guess that would be Micros~1.P#

        Micros~1 had IIS back in the day, and it was (in some ways) PHP-like [basically the same concept of server-side dynamic content achieved by marking up the source in a way that both ran code AND served up HTML content directly from that source], but I didn't see a lot of adoption of IIS back in the day when it was actually relevant, whereas PHP had a LOT of web sites using it (so it won the competition). (I know _I_ do, because it's often the fast sensible solution to excessive/unneessary client-side script, for starters).

        So based on the subtitle of the article, when does Micros~1 "Extend", and then "Extinguish" PHP?

        Looks like "Extinguish" is planned for 2022. Hold onto you programs, the "Extend" is forthcoming, I do not doubt it!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You forgot FreeBSD and nginx, amongst others, in your generic ignorance

      1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

        True, there's the FreeBSD Apache PHP configuration beloved of porn servers the world over. You know, the FAP stack.

        1. John Doe 12

          Definitely a moment for this YouTube vid....

      2. jdavidson

        These sorts of posts make my day.

    3. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      And of course, for development on a Windows machine, there is WAMP.

  2. Greybearded old scrote Silver badge

    Can't think of a title

    I love the smell of schadenfreude in the afternoon.

    (Or any time of day, truth to tell.)

    Er, NSFW words in the link BTW.

  3. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Internet Information Services (IIS) slump ...

    That's not entirely a surprise, the model going forward is that the .NET Core webserver (Kestrel) runs behind a reverse proxy (typically nginx or Apache). IIS is very much legacy territory.

    1. sqlrob

      Re: Internet Information Services (IIS) slump ...

      It's not just used in IIS. Many moons ago I worked in a place that used phabricator. Interface to that is through php scripts run on the command line. I don't know if it still works that way or not.

      1. bpfh

        Re: Internet Information Services (IIS) slump ...

        I regularly use php on the command line on windows. And using its inbuilt web server to run local php apps on the desktop. Quick and dirty way of running cross platform gui apps and a local SQLite db...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nobody wanted it..

    I run a web hoster.

    Nobody wanted PHP on windows hosting. So, no big surprise.

    I saw only two categories, people that were windows admins and didn't want to touch unix, but still dabbled in PHP rather than .Net. (but this category didn't typically want my services).

    Or devs that had no idea windows web hosting existed, and assumed everything was a unix box for hosting.

    Otherwise, people expecting PHP expected unix boxes. People expecting windows .Net hosting had no need for PHP.

    There wasn't any use case for doing both .Net and PHP on a single site I was ever requested of.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nobody wanted it..

      At the company I work for we contracted someone to manage and host our website. They took the previous version that used static HTML and PHP and added some ASP pages into it.

      I seem to recall when we finally took back control of it that it was split across three servers - one Windows for the ASP, one Linux for the PHP bits and the MySQL database on a third!

      Anonymous to protect the guilty (and the innocent)

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Nobody wanted it..

        I'm baked in LAMP, but I was given the job of looking after someone's ASP site that they had paid for.

        So I was effectively forced to get a Windows server instance and because PHP MYSQL is so much more versatile than ASP or .NET, I was able to find a hosting company that would support what I knew and what I had inherited.

        That's the only use case I can think of!

        1. CliveS

          Re: Nobody wanted it..

          > PHP MYSQL is so much more versatile than ASP or .NET,

          Not a Windows fanboy, but would you care to justify that statement by giving an example of something that can be done in PHP and MySQL that can't be done using ASP.NET and SQL Server (or MySQL, as .NET can happily connect to a multitude of DBs)? Otherwise I'd have to say that what you think "versatile" means and what its actual meaning is are two different things.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: Nobody wanted it..

            Well I was going to say good luck getting an ASP / .NET site running on a Linux server, but I've just double checked and apparently there's Kestrel server. So I guess you can do that. Versatile as in being supported by a wider range of base server configurations - works in many different environments. Just a gap in my knowledge... Wonder who maintains that? Is it supported? Seems odd, then, that Microsoft would effectively undermine its server offering in this way. I could understand if they wanted to bring everything in to a closed eco-system that they can monetise, but if ASP/.NET runs supported on a Linux / Apache platform, then losing PHP would just reduce the rationale for deploying their server product.

          2. TRT Silver badge

            Re: Nobody wanted it..

            And I think my use of versatile was clear from the context I used it in, and which you lifted it out from. I wasn't talking about what PHP/ASP could and couldn't do or the relative merits of each in accessing SQL... just which platforms the hosting providers were offering to support the two different language sites I had. If anything ASP/.NET can probably do more than PHP, and probably quicker with pre-compilation, even though it often seems to me to be far less developer friendly than PHP and a little bit more intolerant of stuff like errors in modules that you don't find out about until a particularly rare set of events occurs.

        2. J27 Silver badge

          Re: Nobody wanted it..

          PHP and .NET address different market segments. If you just want to get it out the door quickly PHP is faster, but .NET is more structured. I'd use PHP for smaller applications and .NET for larger ones. There is a big difference in design philosophies between PHP's scripting language design and .NET's JIT-compiled nature. PHP is never going to perform as well for larger more highly-threaded sites, but it's a good choice for things that would take much longer to write in .NET. Some other platforms bridge the difference like node JS. It's about picking a good tool for the job you're doing.

          As for versitility? .NET is probably better for that because you can call native code and there is a more advanced threading model. But complexity comes at a cost, mostly a time cost.

    2. logicalextreme Silver badge

      Re: Nobody wanted it..

      I didn't even know that I didn't want it because I didn't know it existed! Well, I certainly didn't know that Micros~1 produced official builds for it, anyway. But now that I do know that I didn't want it, I don't want it. Nor would I have wanted it back when I didn't know I didn't want it.

    3. albaleo

      Re: Nobody wanted it..

      "There wasn't any use case for doing both .Net and PHP on a single site I was ever requested of."

      I work on a web project that uses both PHP and .Net on IIS. The PHP is used mainly by myself for one web application, and is used mainly to retrieve data from an MS SQL database. It works fine. I know there are those who would like to ditch the PHP element, but development work with .Net seems to take longer.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No surprise here

    I remember going to a PHP conf when I was a dev and Micros~1 were there in their full glory begging people to develop for Windows. I told them, firmly but politely, that I didn't believe they would treat it as a first-class citizen and support it properly or try and do some nonsense like a Windows-only fork. How many times can people be fooled?

    And here we are.

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: No surprise here

      Yeah, I mean fancy Windows not being able to run it for 15 odd years, and potentially many more.

      Hint: You could run it on Win98

  6. lsces

    Reality check?

    While production hosting of PHP may well be essentially Linux based, and benchmarks will tend to show that is much faster than a windows hosted solution, the DEVELOPMENT environment may well currently be running on a windows powered desktop/laptop, and that is where provision of a suitable platform may be sensible. The only looser if Microsoft try pulling the plug on a PHP development platform is Microsoft as it is yet another reason for dropping windows completely. But personally I think any developer would already be running on a Linux desktop anyway? Nowadays the applications that will only work on windows are getting less and less so the need to put up with a second class operating system is waning nicely :)

    1. laughthisoff

      Re: Reality check?

      Just because the development workstation is Windows-based it doesn't necessarily follow that the development *server* running on it is also Windows. Firstly, if you're fully developing locally then your 'server' may be running in a local VM (or container or similar) and be, say, Linux to more accurately reflect your production environment. Or, similarly, it could be in a VM (or container or similar) just to keep it separate from your local workstation environment. There are of course other options; for example, even if you code locally you might have an actual separate dev server parked nearby (or far-by). Your dev server doesn't necessarily have to be on your dev machine any more. None of those options *requires* Windows to be the dev server host OS - it only applies if you install a server stack directly on to your local workstation OS (if you're still that way inclined?!)


  7. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    So, chalk up another one for Borkzilla's product graveyard

    Borkzilla is on a roll to kick stuff to the curb. And PHP, no less.

    It looks like, if you're looking for a tool that will give you long-lasting support, anything with Borkzilla's name on it is what should start by writing off your list.

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: So, chalk up another one for Borkzilla's product graveyard

      What the fuck are you on about it. I take it you know it's not a MS product.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We're getting there, slowly but surely.

    When all that's left will be only WSL (a widespread campaign of "you don't really need it, Windows will do everything for you"), I wonder who's going to pick what software runs on it.

    1. P. Lee

      Re: We're getting there, slowly but surely.

      Is it worth it if you can run things like "wsl php php.script"? Do you need native windows support?

  9. cyberdemon Silver badge


    About as relevant and useful to the world as PHP.

    No, that's unfair to PHP

  10. TheOldFellow

    Why would anyone care?

    You'd have to be nuts to use Mickysoft on a proper webserver anyway.

    1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

      Re: Why would anyone care?

      TBH, even if I were running a web server on Windows for some practical reason or other, I'd probably still have it in a Linux VM.

  11. MatthewSt


    You could always run it on .NET -

  12. Stu J


    Just needs to f**k off and die already.

    1. John Doe 12

      Re: PHP

      You may just be trolling here (especially judging by the chosen icon) but I would be interested to hear a reasoned argument to back up your statement.

      1. MatthewSt

        Re: PHP

        I don't agree with all of the points, but this is a good start:

      2. Stu J

        Re: PHP

        Nope, not trolling. I used PHP in a past life for a couple of years. It's very easy to do simple things very badly, and quite difficult to do complicated things well, compared to other languages and frameworks.

        PHP's a toy language really. As a hiring manager I certainly wouldn't hold having worked with PHP against anyone, but anyone that thought it was a good technology choice for a new project wouldn't be coming back for a second interview. I can't honestly think of a use case for it any more where there isn't an obvious better choice.

    2. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

      Re: PHP

      That's one less red flag to screen for in job applicants. Knowing more technology is always good but there are some technologies that you shouldn't like once you've mastered them. PHP is like the big flathead screwdriver starting your first toolbox. It's a chisel, a pry bar, paint and epoxy stirring stick, drill hole widener, nail sinker, capacitor discharger, and (with a blowtorch) a big soldering iron.

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: PHP

        I quite like PHP. However it also makes me want to pull my teeth out and tear my hair out at times... and that's before I come across some amateur developer's code and smash my head into the table as well. It's not helped by the legacy design decisions and how hard it is to move on from them, but then Microsoft have the same with their Operating Systems so it's not an unknown problem in this industry. Like anything, it's a tool, an imperfect one, but useful in the right circumstances.

        On the other hand, I feel the same way about all other languages at various different times. For example, every time I read about a new language feature in C-hash I wonder why it has to be implemented using a non-alphabetic spaghetti of illogical obfuscations. At some point they are going to run out of weird combinations of non-alphabetic characters for edge case functionalities. Maybe they are taking The International Obfuscated C Code Contest too much as a challenge that they feel they could win at the language design level.

  13. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Exterminate! Exterminate!

    Sounds about like Microsoft,

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Microsoft saw... IIS slump... behind the likes of Apache and NGINX."

    Dude... IIS was never and has never been ahead of Apache, why does the article make it sound that way? What is going on...?

    1. J27 Silver badge

      Re: What???

      If you look at the data they quoted apparently IIS has been over 40% of the web server market recently. I think what that means is that the datasource is 100% unreliable.

    2. P. Lee

      Re: What???

      >What is going on...?

      I believe at least one of the big parked-domain hosters was persuaded to run IIS.

      So if you count by domains, IIS is probably up there.

      Now that lots of companies are into Office 365. Did/Does that run on IIS?

      1. MatthewSt

        Re: What???

        Given that O365 doesn't have a website component it won't count towards the numbers.

        What might be interesting (although probably just a rounding error) is how many Windows sites are reverse proxied through Cloudflare, as depending on what they use to identify server types it may not be correct

    3. Korev Silver badge

      Re: What???

      >Dude... IIS was never and has never been ahead of Apache, why does the article make it sound that way?

      The Netcraft survey shows that IIS had more hosts than any other platform until recently.

    4. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      Re: What???

      One thing I noticed years ago with IIS is that it frequently starts itself on Windows boxes. Quietly, without warning the administrator. And then there it sits, facing the Internet (or Intranet in corporate networks), waiting for someone to count it as a web server or probe your system for ports left open.

      Back when I worked for Boeing, we were hit rather hard by the Code Red virus. And a big part of its propagation was facilitated by people with systems (in some cases even laptops running NT) who clicked an 'administrate my system' button. Which started IIS and presented a web based administration tool. But then never shuts IIS down when they were finished. It continued to run, often unpatched for vulnerabilities, because the systems were not used for web services and the admins saw no need to keep IIS up to date. Tragedy ensued. But at least IIS climbed the popularity charts.

  15. SuperGeek

    "Of the decision itself, our reader, Alain, commented: "Personally I don't care as I am a Linux man and am wary of touching Windows with someone else's barge pole."

    If you're so paranoid you shouldn't be using ANY tech at all. Chuck McGill says Hi!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I guess MS does not want to host and therefore support

    and Wordpress sites in the future on Azure based Windows.

    hint, Wordpress uses PHP.

    I guess the people who run AWS and other Cloud Services will be offering some great migration packages in the near future.

    My own Wordpress blog runs on CentOS hosted by myself. no MS or Cloudy stuff involved.

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: I guess MS does not want to host and therefore support

      I don't know of a single provider that has run Wordpress on windows in the last 5 years. Even when it was offered, it was a magnitude more expensive.

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