|Traded as||Euronext: BULL|
|Headquarters||Les Clayes-sous-Bois, France|
Bull SAS (Euronext: BULL) (also known as Groupe Bull, Bull Information Systems, or simply Bull) is a French-owned computer company headquartered in Les Clayes-sous-Bois, in the western suburbs of 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 with Motorola, Debeka, and France Télécom more recently. It acquired Honeywell Information Systems in the late 1980s, and later also had a share of Zenith Data Systems and Packard Bell. 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 has a worldwide presence in more than 100 countries, and is particularly active in the defense, finance, health care, manufacturing, public and telecommunication sectors.
Recent major products of the company are the scalable Bull NovaScale family of Itanium 2-based servers for High Performance Computing and commercial applications and the high-availability Bull Escala family of IBM Power5-architecture servers. Bull also has a Bull DPS-9000 mainframe computer range (catering to long-time customers with Bull computer installations) and a blade server line. All new products are available with a distribution of Linux.
Bull also offers services, including IT consulting (from IT architecture and ‘urbanization’ to project management support), IT integration and IT operations.
Bull launches the first integrally secured European smartphone, the Hoox which will be available in January 2014. It is for professionals and companies at a price of 2,000 euros, the Hoox is "the only highly secured professional with an Android Operating System smartphone in Europe". It has been designed to ensure the confidentiality of communications. Providing far higher levels of security than encryption solutions available on market smartphones, Hoox meets the security requirements needed for highly sensitive data with restricted distribution. With strict control of access to user data, which is stored locally encrypted, Hoox prevents personal data from being used on third-party servers.
The company is named after its Norwegian founder, Fredrik Rosing Bull, whose name is pronounced in French as the French word bulle (bubble), but is pronounced in English as the less innocuous English word bull. Overcoming the potential negative connotations of this linguistic coincidence for advertising and marketing campaigns in English has been a continuing challenge for the company.
List of computers produced by Bull
- Gamma 3 rekenautomaat (1953)
- Gamma 60 (1960)
- CAB500 (1962)
- Série 300 TI (1962)
- Gamma 30 (1964) (RCA 301)
- Gamma M 40 (1965)
- Gamma 10 (1966)
- GE 400 (1967)
- GE 115 (1966)
- GE 55 (1967)
- GE-265 (1968)
- CII Iris 50 (1970)
- CII Iris 60 (1972)
- CII Iris 80 (1972)
- CII Mitra 15 (1972)
- GE-600 series (1965)
- Honeywell H200 (1970)
- HB 2000 (1973)
- Micral (1973)
- Mini6 (1978)
- GE 58 (1970)
- CII HB 64/40 (1976)
- CII HB 66/60 (1976)
- CII HB 61 DPS (1978)
- Bull DPS4 (1980)
- Bull DPS7 and DPS 7000 (1981)
- SM 90 (1981)
- Correlative Syst. 1982
- SPS7 and SPS9
- DPX 2 (1992)
- Escala (1994)
- DPS 9000 (1999)
- NovaScale (2004)
- DS800 (2007)
- bullx (2009)
- Novascale bullion (2010)
Machines at TOP500
As of June 2012 Bull has 16 machines at the TOP500 supercomputer list
Amesys: Corporate Enemy of the Internet
On 12 March 2013 Reporters Without Borders named Amesys, a subsidiary of Groupe Bull, as one of five "Corporate Enemies of the Internet" and “digital era mercenaries” for selling products that have been or are being used by governments to violate human rights and freedom of information. Amesys sold its EAGLE spyware to Libya, while Muammar Gaddafi was still in power and where it was used to spy on journalists and human rights activists. The company is now being criminally investigated in France for complicity in torture, following allegations by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).
- Heide, Lars (2002) National Capital in the Emergence of a Challenger to IBM in France
- "Bull lance le Hoox, un smartphone professionnel sécurisé qui coûte 2000 euros".
- "Bull launches the 1st integrally secured European smartphone".
- "Corporate Enemies: Amesys", The Enemies of the Internet, Special Edition: Surveillance, Reporters Without Borders, 12 March 2013
- "Firms Aided Libyan Spies ", Paul Sonne and Margaret Coker, Wall Street Journal, 30 August 2011
- "Life Under the Gaze of Gadhafi's Spies ", Margaret Coker and Paul Sonne, Wall Street Journal, 14 December 2011
- Pierre E. Mounier-Kuhn (1998). "Bull: A World-Wide Company Born in Europe". IEEE Annals of the History of Computing. pp. 279–297. Retrieved 2009-07-08.
- History of Bull Extracted and translated from Science et Vie Micro magazine, No. 74, July–August, 1990: The very international history of a French giant
- Bull corporate website
- Bull computers (German) — Friends, co-workers and former employees of Bull and Honeywell
- Bull computers in Belgium (French)
- Bull computers timeline, and info (French) (some English as well)