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Novell employees should brace for more layoffs, beyond the 100 or so the company has officially discussed.

Chief executive Ron Hovsepian has told the company's employees in Germany that more cuts are coming, sources close to the company have told The Register.

"The day after Hovsepian said no more cuts beyond 100, he told German employees (as per German law) that there would be more cuts coming," the source said.

It also seems that the 100 or so that have been announced could be a conservative count, with this initial round going deeper.

"I'm hearing from all over the company that, in fact, the cuts are deeper than '100 employees,'" the source said.

The company's internal IT group, which is mostly based in Provo, Utah, and away from the corporate head quarters in Waltham, Massachusetts, is one area about to feel the cuts. The group has provided a range of IT implementations using Novell's GroupWise collaboration and productivity package, ZenWorks desktop management, eDirectory, and remote access.

Among those cut are company veterans who've been with Novell for 21 years. These people will have been with Novell since Utah, when its NetWare was the network operating system standard that predated - and was surpassed - Microsoft's Windows NT.

Novell, owner of SuSE Linux and first to partner with Microsoft on Linux patent protection, earlier this week rejected reports that up to 1,000 staff were getting axed. A thousand would represent a major cut - a quarter of its 4,000 head count. Fewer than 100, while unpleasant for those concerned, would be less dramatic for the business - representing 2.5 per cent of staff.

It doesn't take a nuclear physicist to conclude the actual number could lay somewhere between 100 and 1,000.

A Novell spokesman Wednesday stuck to the official line, saying there'd be "under 100 employees affected worldwide on a headcount of about 4,000." ®

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