A week ago we spouted off in a podcast about the future of HP-UX, and haven't heard a word over the seven days since about any Itanium and HP-UX recant from Oracle. HP is adhering to its Itanium server roadmap, mostly because the company still sells three OS environments of its own design. Each runs only on Itanium/Integrity servers.
To be accurate, only HP-UX was built by Hewlett-Packard. NonStop and OpenVMS arrived at HP via acquisitions, so HP-UX remains the only OS on today's price list with classic HP genetics. It's also the only Hewlett-Packard OS that HP 3000 customers have used as a migration target. A look back at the fate of HP's operating systems shows a quite of charnel house of OS bones. Only IBM has put down a comparable number of good dogs in bad business circumstances, and Big Blue still supports its business OS's created in the 1980s and even earlier, the AS/400's OS/400 and the System Z for its mainframes.
Alan Tibbetts, a user group director at both Interex and OpenMPE and a 38-year veteran of HP 1000s, reminded us about several of these environments that HP gave up for dead besides MPE. "I must admit that I was amused by the articles saying that HP is pushing a 'private OS' with the webOS product that they acquired from Palm," he said. "Considering that they have killed Rocky Mountain Basic, RTE, MPE, HP-RT, and (any day now) HP-UX, I will have to see how much allegiance they really give to the concept of a proprietary OS."
The difference between things like Rocky Mountain Basic or RTE and MPE is that your OS is poised to move into its second decade running enterprises after HP has quit. But the HP OS history will remind even long-standing HP-UX users that their vendor-supported days are numbered.