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If you’re wanting security and robustness, my preferred combination is unix/linux (I run Sco Unixware, FreeBSD, and Suse Linux) and Apache.
Most distro’s of nix* OS’s carry the latest ver of apache, and its not too difficult to setup.
Moreover, if you?re wanting simplicity, Windows IIS would be ideal.
Or you could run apache on windows. Ultimately, I would go with Apache. I run both setups for a government agency because certain state applications require IIS, which frustrates me.
If this is going to be a public web site and you are just starting, then Apache on a *nix box is the way to travel. On the other hand, if this is for internal use (behind a firewall, not a public site) then go ahead and use IIS if you have MS Server software hanging around.
All things being equal, Apache is easier to build secure and keep secure. As you know from all the MS patches, you MUST keep up with security patches and constantly check to ensure you haven’t left some service running that could allow some slime to compromise your system. Although *nix is not perfect, it’s much easier to set up a secure server. Unnecessary services are not turned on by default, and many distributions will ask you how secure you want your server to be and then do the initial setup that way and then walk you through the process to modify your settings.
Hey, you’re adventurous, give *nix a shot and have fun learning.