The company which created the HP 3000 spent many months of 2008 quiet about the product and the 3000 community, until the final quarter of the year. As the deadline for ending HP 3000 lab operations approached, HP opened up opportunities and signaled its shutdowns of 3000 information and expertise. Nothing new will be available before the end of 2010, to the regret of OpenMPE and independent technical 3000 experts.
At the same time, more options showed up to motivate migrations, mostly in the form of new functionality Hewlett-Packard will never bring to its 3000 creations. Connectivity and efficient hardware design led the announcements.
1. HP said it will start negotiations for read-only reference licenses of the MPE/iX source code. The process will be conducted under confidential disclosure so the community won't be able to judge the HP offerings to the top technical experts. The value of source code to the community will be limited to creating workarounds and crafting object-level patches, and only for the community's companies with enough expertise to understand the code. However, new versions of MPE/iX won't be possible under the proposed source license.
2. Key technical information is being withheld in the form of locked-up configuration tools and technical manuals, all of which will remain inside HP even after its 3000 support operations end in two years' time.
3. Beta-test patches are staying inside of HP's support group for at least another two years, giving the general 3000 population no access to test completed 3000 enhancements and fixes. Only support customers will be able to use these patches, or test them, even while there's no development lab to modify any of the patches based on testing reports. But many other patches got their freedom throughout the year.