Microsoft suffered severe embarrassment last week after being forced to retract a statement claiming sales of Windows NT Server had outpaced Novell NetWare sales in 1996.
In a press release Microsoft claimed NT Server sales were outstripping NetWare's, and that in the fourth quarter last year NT Server had outshipped the combined sales of NetWare 3.x, 4.x and NetWare Loadable Modules. The findings were attributed to a report from US market research firm IDC.
But IDC was unhappy with the release, entitled Sales of Microsoft NT Server Outpace NetWare Sales in 1996, and forced Microsoft to withdraw it and issue an amended version in its place. "We requested that Microsoft make a number of changes to the release and reissue it," explained Lee Doyle, vice president at IDC and author of the original report. "NT is not outshipping NetWare."
Microsoft's figures were selective because the company chose to mention only new sales of NT and NetWare. This does not take into account Novell's massive upgrade business with NetWare 3.x and 4.x, which Novell maintains makes the comparison unfair.
Microsoft claimed the distortion was due to an "inadvertent" error in editing.
"Novell continues to lead the worldwide server operating systems market in terms of total licence shipments," stated IDC's Doyle. "This is true for the fourth quarter of 1996 and for 1996 as a whole."
Combined total licence shipments of NetWare and IntranetWare were 25% greater than NT Server last year, according to the IDC figures. Novell also won in terms of the total network connections shipped: it sold 20.5 million network nodes, 26% more than Microsoft with NT.
In terms of new licence sales, Microsoft did grow more than Novell, at though this does not translate into overall greater shipments because of NT's smaller installed base. New sales of NT Server grew by nearly 86% in 1996, showing "aggressive, sustained quarter-to-quarter growth", according to IDC's Doyle.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago