HP's announcement of 2009 plans included some subtractions along with the addition of a new source code licensing program. Software providers in the DSPP developer program won't be able to get HP 3000 software from the vendor starting in 2009. The number of DSPP members who only have an MPE/iX membership is few; many more have ongoing memberships for development under HP-UX and Windows. Plainly put, HP won't be shipping free versions of MPE/iX to any developers next year.
Another loss won't be missed much. HP held out the possibility that it would convert HP 9000 servers to HP 3000 systems if the marketplace needed hardware. But after more than two years of making the offer, the vendor said only a couple of customers were looking for A-Class servers and couldn't find what they needed on the used marketplace. HP is ending the potential for 9000-to-3000 conversions, starting immediately. 3000 hardware availability has kept pace with the market's needs.
Another activity is wrapping up as well, but this one might be more missed. The vendor's liaison to the OpenMPE advocacy group will stop. Jeff Bandle, the liaison who replaced Mike Paivinen, is ending his duties. Bandle talked with OpenMPE directors in conference calls every two or three weeks or so. The communication is ceasing because HP's lab efforts for the 3000 are at an end.
The exit of a 3000 liaison is the one development that might hamper a community which remains in transition. HP's support operations would serve the customers well by reaching out to OpenMPE during 2009. The installed base includes interim homesteading customers are well as sites which plan to run 3000 indefinitely -- alongside other HP products and servers.
The vendor didn't list a departing liaison among its decisions of Nov. 25. But the community would be a poorer place today without someone from HP to listen to the challenges of remaining devoted to the vendor's first business server. Bernard Determe of HP's Worldwide Support organization was the last official to communicate with the 3000 community. Determe could build a transition team -- a concept now crucial to change in America -- with a designated employee to hear the voices of HP's customers.
Hardware, software -- both can be replaced or supplied from other sources. An open ear needs an equal place in HP's plans to retain customer satisfaction.