Acer, 3Com Form Worldwide Networking Alliance

Taiwan's Acer Group will integrate 3Com Corp.'s networking products and technologies into its PC products and services worldwide, under a pact announced yesterday.

As a first step, Acer will bundle 3Com's network interface cards (NICs) with its PCs, officials said.

The new alliance extends the two companies' previous relationship. Acer is already bundling 3Com's NICs with its AcerAltos line of servers.

Acer and 3Com will also join forces on worldwide sales, support, promotion and marketing programs, officials said.

"The trend towards the convergence of communications and computer technologies is pushing companies to combine forces," said Stan Shih, Acer's chairman and CEO in a written statement.

The alliance is based on the belief of both companies that demand for "network ready" PCs is on the increase, officials said.

3Com officials said that the pact with Acer is the networking vendor's first global alliance with a PC vendor from the Asia-Pacific.

In addition, Acer and 3Com will also share information on market and product developments, as well as coordinate product launches and leverage each other's manufacturing strengths, officials said.

3Com, headquartered in Santa Clara, California, can be reached via its World Wide Web home page at http://www.3com.com/. Acer, based in Taipei, Taiwan, is at http://www.acer.com/.

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