Bull Makes Linux Charge

Bulls and penguins don't play together very often. At Comdex this week, however, Groupe Bull SA and Penguin Computing Inc. did a Linux tango when the two companies announced a partnership to sell Linux systems in the European market.

Bull -- a large French IT player and computer maker -- will add its services to Penguin Computing's line of Linux-based servers, the companies said in a statement. Both companies hope to add applications and support around the Linux hardware to make it more attractive to European companies. Bull recently contributed to a financing round for Penguin Computing to help push the server vendor toward an international expansion of its server sales.

Penguin Computing and Bull will have to work hard to compete in the back-end Linux market. Companies like Dell Computer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp. and Compaq Computer Corp. already dominate the hardware markets and continue to make substantial investments in Linux.

Bull also started its Bull Telco division this week to increase the company's presence in the telecommunications market. It pulled in resources from its European consulting and services activities to form the new business unit. Bull Telco will focus on Internet applications, mobile portals, and smart card services.

Bull, based in Louveciennes, France, is at +33-1-39-66-60-60 or http://www.bull.com/. Penguin Computing, based in San Francisco, California, is at +1-415-358-2600 or http://www.penguincomputing.com/.

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