Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Groupe Bull (also known as Bull Computer or simply Bull) is a French computer company based in Louveciennes, France, outside Paris. The company has also been known at various times as Bull General Electric, Honeywell Bull, CII Honeywell Bull, and Bull HN. Bull was founded in 1931, as H.W. Egli - Bull, to capitalize on the punched card technology patents of Norwegian engineer Fredrik Rosing Bull (1882–1925). After a reorganization in 1933, with new owners coming in, the name was changed to Compagnie des Machines Bull.
The company has undergone many takeovers and mergers since its formation. In particular, it has had various ownership relations with General Electric, Honeywell, and NEC from the 1960s to the 1980s, and Motorola and France Telecom more recently. It acquired Honeywell Information Systems in the late 1980s, and later also had a share of Zenith Data Systems and Packard Bell. Groupe Bull was nationalised in 1982 and was merged with most of the rest of the French computer industry. In 1994 the company was re-privatised.
Bull is particularly present in the public sector, banking, finance, telecommunication and industry sectors. As of 2005, the company's distribution and consulting network is present in over 100 countries.
Recent major products of the company are the scalable Bull NovaScale family of Itanium 2-based servers and the high-availability Bull Escala family of IBM Power5-architecture servers. Bull also has a mainframe computer range (catering to long-time customers with Bull computer installations) and a blade server line. All products are available with the Mandrake distribution of Linux.
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