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Top 2007 Stories, Part 2

Top 2007 Stories, Part 1

You can argue that any year when HP extends its 3000 business is a notable year. And so 2007 was as notable as 2005, both years when HP moved its HP 3000 finish line back by two years. HP's actions, however, don't necessarily make the biggest news in a community that survives with less Hewlett-Packard resource every year.

HP did reach out to that community on several occasions during 2007. The company spent the back end of 2006 devising a new license it rolled out early in 2007. That story was one of several where HP was reacting to the 3000 community, rather than leading as it did during the 1990s.

Twelve months to a year, a dozen stories to lead the news and evolution of the 3000 community. Let's count them down.

12. RTU license program returns HP to 3000 vendor ranks. HP created a Right to Use license for HP 3000 owners, something a customer needs to pay the vendor for during some sales of existing systems. Ross McDonald, HP's 3000 lab director, said the vendor realized that customers needed a way to "create a valid system when purchased upgrade kits were no longer available."

To be sure, someone in the community needed something to justify the new RTU. HP was adding a 3000 product to the price list for the first time since 2002. McDonald said the process was complex, maybe just as complicated as discovering who needs to pay for an RTU. McDonald shed some light on the answer with one comment.

For the customer who cares about software licensing, and wants to do the right thing, I think [the RTU] really helps them.

11. Alliances and mergers continued on the 3000 stage. Cognos and Speedware went to work on a joint agreement to serve migrating 3000 sites, punctuating the policy that the rivalry between the companies is long over in the HP 3000 market space. Meanwhile, Ecometry slipped into the Escalate e-commerce organization, ending an era of independence for the company that started so many retailers on HP 3000 ownership.

10. The HP 3000 marketplace saw its two leading COBOL choices merge. Micro Focus purchased its rival Acucorp in a $40 million deal, combining the company wich had engineered a new COBOL for the 3000 with a company that dominates the COBOL market share. Both companies are continuing with their own development paths for the next two years. But the merger was a part of the Micro Focus emphasis on legacy opportunities — like a 3000 community looking for new places to run old COBOL code.