Microsoft and Novell are disputing which is selling the most server operating system software, despite using the same independent expert to back up their claims. Microsoft recently issued a press release saying it had far outsold the Novell NetWare server operating system. It quoted figures from research firm International Data Corp and used comments attributed to its vice-president Lee Doyle. Mr Doyle's statement said in the Microsoft release: 'In the fourth quarter of 1996, Windows NT Server outshipped Netware 3.x, 4.x and NetWare Loadable Modules combined.' However, Novell renamed NetWare when it launched Internet-friendly IntranetWare in the last quarter of 1996. Microsoft issued a subtle correction to the press statement two days later, but maintained it had still 'outsold NetWare by far'. It made no mention of IntranetWare. Novell issued its own press statement, also quoting Mr Doyle, claiming market leadership for combined NetWare and IntranetWare server shipments last year. 'Novell continues to lead the worldwide server operating system market in terms of total licence shipments,' Mr Doyle said in the release. 'This is true for the fourth quarter of 1996 and for 1996 as a whole.' Novell said it had more than 20 million nodes connected to NetWare or IntranetWare servers last year - over 25 per cent more than Microsoft. Novell hosted its Brainshare technical conference in the United States last week. It demonstrated its Wolfmountain network clustering technology, announced an alliance with Oracle focusing on data cartridge technology and also gave its support for Sun Microsystems' Project Studio - a system which allows non-programmers to create Java-based Internet content.