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Novell is preparing to lay off as many as one in five of its staff, according to reports.

About 20 per cent of Novell's 5,800 staff could lose their jobs. An announcement is expected before the end of its financial year - 31 October.

Novell's non-core products are likely to be hit hardest. ZDNet predicts Novell's Extend product, based on SiliverStream Software, is likely to suffer. The company is also predicted to pull out of regions where it is underperforming and leave sales to resellers.

A highly-placed source at Novell told Ziff that as many as 1,160 could get the sack and would likely hear this week.

Novell has struggled to reinvent itself after seeing market share for its network products disappear. Sales and profits for the last quarter were both down. In 2004 Novell paid $210m for SuSE Linux to help buy itself a slice of the corporate Linux market.

More details here.®

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