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Merrill Lynch inks VMware software deal

Merrill Lynch has signed a deal to standardize on VMware software for dividing a single Intel server into several effective machines, the companies plan to announce Monday. The financial services company is using VMware's "virtual machine" software for several tasks, including consolidating several smaller servers onto a single, more powerful machine.

Merrill Lynch also is using VMware software for running older Windows NT programs on newer Windows XP computers, and company programmers are using the software to speed software development and testing. VMware, which has a sales partnership with IBM, said 80 of the world's 100 biggest corporations use its software.