HP conceived the concept of an MPE/iX emulator license in 2003, dreaming up a $500 offer for customers who want to install the 3000's OS on non-3000 hardware emulators. More than five years later it appears the $500 plan won't even last into next fall.
By October, 2010, customers will not be able to order media for MPE/iX copies which they have already licensed. HP calls these "additional emulator licenses" in an FAQ on its go/e3000 Web page. Without the ability to order media next fall, the schedule will effectively close the door on HP's $500 emulation licenses, leaving users only the software license transfer (SLT) method to carry 3000 computing onto any emulator which emerge.
HP's e3000 business Manager Jennie Hou explained that the $500 license will include a copy of MPE/iX. But HP won't allow any customers to purchase the $500 license until an emulator is tested and released by a third party. Even if an emulator were somehow to emerge by the end of this summer, this timeline would curtail that $500 license to little more than one year of sales.
HP and Client Systems will remain involved in the $500 license orders, too. Hou said that emulator vendors can facilitate orders for MPE/iX copies, but must go through HP or Client Systems.
“For customers needing an additional copy of the MPE/iX OS prior to the end of 2010," she said, "the platform emulator vendor will work with the customer on ordering a copy of the OS through HP or Client Systems. This $500 license will include a copy of the MPE/iX OS. Add-on software can still be ordered through September 30, 2010. After these dates, only the Software License Transfer process could be used to move their MPE/iX software onto the platform emulator.”
The timeline for the $500 emulator license of MPE/iX makes recovering a lost license of MPE/iX essential as soon as possible. At the end of 2010, HP ends its offer of the “lost license” RTU licenses, a product which the vendor introduced last year. Coupled with the deadline for ordering media for the 3000, that's an effective deadline of September for re-licensing an MPE/iX release.
HP believes that most users with MPE/iX will have a copy of the operating system to be used with any platform emulator. That will be true for many emulator users, but for those who want their "additional copy" of MPE/iX, they wait on an offer of a very limited time.