HP's big news last week extended its HP 3000 business by two years. But the announcement of the new Mature Product Support, without Sustained Engineering, didn't sustain HP's patch development business. That's the part of the new '09-'10 plan that remains the same as the support plans announced in December, 2005. As scheduled, Hewlett-Packard engineers will halt writing, building and testing patches for MPE/iX on December 31, 2008.
This unchanged date brings up a question from the OpenMPE board of directors. When does the 12-month clock start for the transfer of MPE/iX source code to OpenMPE? HP engineers have said HP believes that 12 months is enough time to transfer MPE/iX to an outside licensee. OpenMPE thinks that one year cuts it close. But the amount of time to transfer is HP's decision to make.
But when to make it? If patches stop on December 31 of next year, then January 1 of 2008 might be the time to start the hand-off to let OpenMPE offer patches in 2009. After all, when the patch lab closes, that's the end of that HP support service. OpenMPE directors are hoping that the 3000 business extension over at HP doesn't extend OpenMPE's waiting time a couple of years, too.
So does MPE/iX take its first steps out of HP's labs next year? HP isn't saying yes or no to the question, for now. The 3000 group has always timed its announcements closely, in order to take advantage of shifting customer requests and opportunities in the ecosystem.
But community liaison Craig Fairchild gave us a wait and see reply to the OpenMPE patch in '08 question.
We are still evaluating the impact on the source code access timeline due to this extension. If anything else changes, we'll be sure to let you know.
Tea leaf reading, anyone? If anything else changes could either mean
1. HP will stick to the original plan and behave like 2008 is the end of 3000 support, or
2. The extension is one change, and something else (like source code access) could change, too.
I'm glad they will let me know. I'll let you know here, if I know anything new. As with several questions surrounding the support extension, HP is evaluating before answering.