First news surfaces on Tech Forum details
Get that 3000 touch for disasters

Maybe the RTU isn't about you

Precious little has been posted or said about HP's new Right To Use (RTU) for HP 3000 upgrades. The policy isn't retroactive — unless you're upgrading, the new license has nothing to do with a customer's 3000 ownership.

But judging by the reaction to an e-mail blast we sent out a few weeks back, not many of the 3000 customers have paid much attention to HP's reach into the 3000's tomorrow. Few of HP's 3000 policies have been based so clearly around the system's future. The RTU means nothing unless a customer upgrades a 3000 today — and this upgrading is still taking place in an era when HP has been advising customers to leave the platform for more than five years.

If the customer base continues to purchase 3000s, in spite of HP's advice, well, wouldn't those customers prickle at HP's involvement, or praise the vendor's pluck in staying connected to revenues for the server?

Yes, and yes. But the surprising lack of response might mean

1. 3000 customers are disconnected with the vendor after 2001's disappointment
2. So few upgrades are happening that the policy has little impact
3. Upgrade purchases flow through a part of a customer's firm where 3000 policy is a minor point. In other words, parts is parts. If we buy them, we own them.

All three might be true, so long as anyone was listening to us or to the vendor. At least a couple of observers had a comment for us, though.

Alan Yeo of ScreenJet wondered how long HP's interest and licensing effort would continue.

How long do they guarantee to provide this service, post 2008?  If someone pays the price differential now for a system upgrade, is that investment worthless after 2008 if you can't then sell that system to someone else who can take advantage of the investment. Is it a penalty fee because you choose to stay on the 3000 and need to upgrade?

John Burke, the NewsWire's longest-tenured columnist, had a contrasting viewpoint:

I do not see what the big deal is. HP is still selling support and does not want to violate its past policies about supporting only legitimately licensed systems — so it needs to provide a mechanism for people to create "legitimate" systems from parts provided by the used market. Am I missing something? The only surprise to me is that they did not do it sooner.

We still want to know what the customers think of RTU. Or maybe it has nothing to do with you, upgrading or not. Tell us. Tell HP