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HP buy boosts .Net consulting

With the acquisition of Extreme Logic, Hewlett-Packard looks to strengthen its consulting talent for Microsoft's .Net Web services software.

Hewlett Packard on Wednesday bolstered its expertise in Microsoft's .Net software with the acquisition of consulting firm Extreme Logic.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. If the purchase is completed, Atlanta-based Extreme Logic will become a subsidiary of HP, and Extreme Logic's 200 employees will work as a part of the HP Services organization trained on Microsoft software.

The deal, announced at the HP World conference, is intended to boost HP's services offerings for building custom applications based on Microsoft software, HP said. Extreme Logic is a Microsoft partner certified in the company's .Net products.

.Net is the umbrella brand for Microsoft's line of tools and Windows-based software for writing applications that adhere to a set of standards called Web services.

Extreme Logic's customers include companies in the financial services, health care, retail, government, manufacturing and telecommunications industries. Extreme Logic will also add to HP's business services in e-learning and security, HP said.

Although the tech giant does not sell Microsoft-specific programming tools and middleware, it has been seeking to profit from interest in .Net software through its services organization. The companies last fall signed a deal to promote .Net, and reaffirmed that commitment late last year.

HP isn't putting all of its eggs into the .Net basket, however. The company also has a partnership with BEA to provide services connected to Java 2 Enterprise Edition-based tools and server software, which is an alternative to Microsoft's .Net line. Microsoft is readying a new version of its .Net software, code-named Indigo, which is intended to compete more directly with the rival J2EE standard and software based on it.

HP said the Extreme Logic acquisition plays into its adaptive enterprise strategy, which encompasses technologies and professional services designed to give corporate customers lower costs and more flexibility.