Dell and IBM announce blockbuster deal

Dell Computer and International Business Machines (IBM) signed a $16 billion, seven year, cross-licensing deal on Thursday where Dell will integrate IBM PC hardware into its systems and IBM will gain access to Dell's build-to-order process. The deal was so big that it sent the stock market soaring today.

Among the hardware Dell will purchase are high-capacity hard drives, networking hardware, and other semiconductor products such as SRAM and copper-based microchips (but not microprocessors).

"This is just the beginning," said Dell VP Mike Lambert, hinting that an even larger deal is in the works. "This may be a better partnership than those numbers suggest.

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