Fighting to stay competitive in a depressed computer market, Dell laid off 1,700 full-time employees yesterday at the company's headquarters in Round Rock, Texas.

The cuts won't affect UK employees, but this is another symptom of the continuing slowdown in PC sales. [see our previous story for background]

Dell spokesman Mike Maher said a number of factors were to blame for the layoffs. Maher said that the layoffs were necessary for Dell to remain competitive. Dell, which originated the build-to-order computer business model, has a reputation for undercutting the competition on price.

The layoffs were mainly in administrative, marketing, and product support positions, Maher said. Most received two months' severance pay and two months of extended benefits.

No further layoffs are anticipated from Dell, Maher said.

In January Gateway laid off more than 2,000 staff. [see our story]