BULL computers chronological history

Bull, Micral  and the Personal Computer

While SEA (with CAB500) and Bull (in the small systems department) had approached many aspects of what will become the personal computer, the core of CII-HB and of Honeywell had essentially ignored the potential brought by the first microprocessors.

1972 Creation of R2E  by André Truong Truong Thi and François Gernelle from Intertechnique
15 Jan 1973 First shipment of Micral N to INRA Institut National de Recherche Agronomique, a process control computer, the first world microcomputer based on Intel 8008 microprocessor.
9 Jun 1976 Acquisition of 60% of R2E by CII-HB
13 Sep 1982 André Rivière named PDG of R2E., replacing André Truong Truong Thi
19 May 1983 Jean Valent, president of Bull Transac replaces André Rivière.
R2E will take the name of Bull Micral
1984 Introduction of BM-30 an IBM PC compatible personal computer, designed at R2E of America and manufactured by Bull in Angers and Villeneuve d'Asq.
Introduction of a PC/AT compatible model by Bull Micral
Introduction of BM-300, a 386 based PC , OEM-bought from Acer
Introduction of BM-40, a 386 based PC ,
1987 Spin Off of Prologue SA, as a separate company that will market the Prologue operating and programming systems on PC clones hardware.
Oct 1992 ZDS is given the Desktop IV by US Army. The foreign ownership of the company delays the confirmation of the order until May 1993.

SEMS and Transac

At the time of the take-over of CII by Honeywell-Bull, were left over from CII the telephone exchange computers (that went to CGE), the military computers and the process control computers that were continued over the Thomson-CSF umbrella.

1975 Télémécanique-Electrique introduces its SOLAR product line of process control mini computers.
197x Merge between Télémécanique and SEMS
1981 Discussions with SEL-Gould for an eventual take-over of Gould
Sep 1982 Government decision to incorporate SEMS into Bull
1983 integration of Thomson's peripheral department (DAP) that owned a license for the Convergent Technology's B4000.
Thomson had previously spent money in a attempt to rescue the US computer company, Fortune.
1983 Industrialization of CNET's SM-90 minicomputer sold as Bull SPS-7
Oct 1983 François Michel resigns from SEMS to found Copernique. He is replaced by Georges Grunberg.
Apr 1984 License from Ridge Computer for the scientific RISC Ridge 32 computer, sold as Bull SPS-9
After an increase of Bull's shares to 19.5% in 1986, Ridge practically collapsed in 1988.

In 1983, when CGE and Thomson were nationalized, as was also Bull, the government asked Bull to reabsorb SEMS the result of the merge between the Télémécanique (a process control company from Groupe Schneider) and the CII-B. It also asked to absorb Transac (a computer business division of CGE) and a division of Thomson.



Revision:29 avr. 2002