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Novell trips over its Linux strategy

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Two years after the rebirth of onetime computer networking titan Novell Inc., the Waltham company is still having trouble learning to walk.

At a time when organizations of every kind depend on masses of networked computers, Novell should be prospering. Instead, Novell may be poised to lay off hundreds of employees because of missteps that have cost it the loyalty of once-faithful customers like Jim Klein, director of information services and technology at the Saugus Union School District in Santa Clarita, Calif.

Core markets are a sizable but dwindling number of businesses and government agencies that rely on NetWare -- an operating system developed by Novell in the 1980s, but now withering away.

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