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HP To Charge For Service Packs and Firmware For Out-of-Warranty Customers

Soulskill posted about 6 months ago | from the customer-service-you-can-count-on dept.

HP 385

New submitter josh itnc writes "In a move that is sure to put a wedge between HP and their customers, today, HP has issued an email informing all existing Enterprise Server customers that they would no longer be able to access or download service packs, firmware patches and bug-fixes for their server hardware without a valid support agreement in place. They said, 'HP has made significant investments in its intellectual capital to provide the best value and experience for our customers. We continue to offer a differentiated customer experience with our comprehensive support portfolio. ... Only HP customers and authorized channel partners may download and use support materials. In line with this commitment, starting in February 2014, Hewlett-Packard Company will change the way firmware updates and Service Pack for ProLiant (SPP) on HP ProLiant server products are accessed. Select server firmware and SPP on these products will only be accessed through the HP Support Center to customers with an active support agreement, HP CarePack, or warranty linked to their HP Support Center User ID and for the specific products being updated.' If a manufacturer ships hardware with exploitable defects and takes more than three years to identify them, should the consumer have to pay for the vendor to fix the these defects?"

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Well if HP didn't already have a terrible rep... (5, Insightful)

Noishkel (3464121) | about 6 months ago | (#46159837)

... they sure as hell will now.

I'm not an IT person, but weren't there a few companies that tried this crap wwaayy back when? I seem to remember them all failing miserably.

Normally I do not encourage piracy ... (5, Interesting)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 6 months ago | (#46159957)

... but in this case I won't fault anyone if they have to download the essential patches from pirate sites.

Re:Normally I do not encourage piracy ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46160115)

Care for a trojan with your side of fries?

Re:Normally I do not encourage piracy ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46160295)

Care for a trojan with your unpatched hardware/software?

Lesser or two evils.

Re: Normally I do not encourage piracy ... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46160507)

Absoloutely not! Thats why i always use trustworthy sites like TPB rather than the manufacturers site as they love to ppackage all sorts of crap with their downloads. ;)

Re:Well if HP didn't already have a terrible rep.. (1)

zoomshorts (137587) | about 6 months ago | (#46160209)

HP = Horrible Product = Hardly Profitable what else is NEW? Yes, there was a time, but that died long ago. Do you want to buy a refurbished product?

Re:Well if HP didn't already have a terrible rep.. (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 6 months ago | (#46160607)

Doesn't Cisco do this too? Its a royal piss off.

oh well (5, Insightful)

epyT-R (613989) | about 6 months ago | (#46159841)

One more reason to avoid buying or recommending HP to would be buyers. The last thing I'd want to deal with is not being able to get a copy of a firmware update for someone's out of warranty system, server or not because I'm not "HP certified support" or whatever. In 2014, there is no fucking reason whatsoever to not have all issued patches available as direct downloads. This is especially true for legacy hardware.

Re:oh well (5, Interesting)

omglolbah (731566) | about 6 months ago | (#46159891)

Yeah.... this is going to bite them in the ass... hard.

We recently had an issue with HP servers showing temperatures of 255C on motherboard sensors...
They said this was a firmware issue and told us to flash the bios to fix this. We did... the sensor now shows -127C. Big help.

It actually required a motherboard replacement and they claimed this was -not- a warranty issue because the server was too old. In the meantime we've had 4 more servers have this issue, which makes them unusable in our environment (oil rig HMI).

Would they now not give us the fix without us feeding them a bit of cash? Fuck them.

Re:oh well (2)

Isaac-1 (233099) | about 6 months ago | (#46159983)

HP is well onto the course IBM was 25 years ago, shoot yourself in the foot, and repeat

Re:oh well (1)

distilate (1037896) | about 6 months ago | (#46160191)

HP is well onto the course IBM was 25 years ago, shoot yourself in the foot, and repeat

Someone should show them the AA12, its the perfect weapon for this

Re:oh well (1)

TheInternetGuy (2006682) | about 6 months ago | (#46160499)

HP is well onto the course IBM was 25 years ago, shoot yourself in the foot, and repeat

Someone should show them the AA12, its the perfect weapon for this

I thought we were supposed to use C++ for this.

Re:oh well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46160015)

Hey you have gone from FF to FFFFFF81.

That's 48 bits of intellectual property for free. FREE!!! Bloody moochers.
It takes an awful lot of highly specialised engineers, trained for years by HP, to accomplish that. They need to be paid....

Re:oh well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46160543)

I suspect it's a unsigned to signed char change, so no bits gained. Would be too generous for HP to gift bits anyway.

Re:oh well (4, Funny)

JanneM (7445) | about 6 months ago | (#46160057)

We recently had an issue with HP servers showing temperatures of 255C on motherboard sensors...
They said this was a firmware issue and told us to flash the bios to fix this. We did... the sensor now shows -127C. Big help.

"Big help" - Why are you complaining? This is great! Think of the electricity savings! Not only can you stop cooling these servers, you can actually use them to cool your other hardware!

You're not thinking outside the box, that's the problem with you young people.

Re: oh well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46160247)

fyi this is a sensor failure. you can fix it yourself easily.

Re:oh well (2)

TheP4st (1164315) | about 6 months ago | (#46160299)

We did... the sensor now shows -127C. Big help.

Your tune will change quickly when the fridge stop working and you can chill your mountain dew in an instant.

Re:oh well (1)

virtualjc (589600) | about 6 months ago | (#46159973)

Surprise Surprise Surprise - Yet another technology company that goes out of their way to fail by not standing behind their products and customers. A ridiculous policy. Well, that's ok, plenty of other companies stand to profit when their customer's current systems are in need of replacement, did they really think they'll be knocking on their door? Lost opportunity = Lost sales.

Re:oh well (1)

bazorg (911295) | about 6 months ago | (#46160135)

not being able to get a copy of a firmware update for someone's out of warranty system, server or not because I'm not "HP certified support" or whatever

If I read TFS correctly, your customer can access the required resources as long as they have a valid support agreement in place with HP.

It looks to me that HP is saying that hardware buyers are only entitled to a license for software patches if they pay some sort of annual rent. Some will pay, some will shop elsewhere.

Re:oh well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46160509)

One more reason to avoid buying or recommending HP to would be buyers. The last thing I'd want to deal with is not being able to get a copy of a firmware update for someone's out of warranty system, server or not because I'm not "HP certified support" or whatever. In 2014, there is no fucking reason whatsoever to not have all issued patches available as direct downloads. This is especially true for legacy hardware.

In 2014, there is not fucking reason whatsoever for Ford Motor Company to not have every single service manual for every model of Ford car in stock. This is especially true for classic or vintage models.

Not saying I agree with HP's move. Just saying. Not everything is as black and white as it seems.

company charges for paid support (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46159845)

does not qualify as news

Re:company charges for paid support (5, Insightful)

ttucker (2884057) | about 6 months ago | (#46160075)

does not qualify as news

This is not pay for support. This is pay for firmware updates. Sure, they can charge for them when nobody else does... but I can also buy elsewhere. Fuck them, and Cisco can suck it too. Correcting bugs in 512k of firmware code is hardly adding a new feature, and doing what you are supposed to anyways is hardly premium support.

Government Regulation?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46159855)

Too bad security updates aren't legally mandated to be distributed for free for the life of the unit. Other updates they should be able to require a current agreement.

Re:Government Regulation?? (5, Insightful)

epyT-R (613989) | about 6 months ago | (#46159889)

It shouldn't be a legal mandate either. Keeping already released patches available should be a courtesy that all vendors willingly do. The good will encourages repeat buys. Eventually, vendor support will be so expensive and so unappealing that people will just run a free unix on commodity hardware because they get better help from internet forums than they do from vendors.

Re:Government Regulation?? (1)

ttucker (2884057) | about 6 months ago | (#46160079)

It shouldn't be a legal mandate either. Keeping already released patches available should be a courtesy that all vendors willingly do. The good will encourages repeat buys. Eventually, vendor support will be so expensive and so unappealing that people will just run a free unix on commodity hardware because they get better help from internet forums than they do from vendors.

I won't touch Cisco gear with a 10 ft pole, and this is exactly why.

Is this maybe justifiable? (2)

Kleebner (533168) | about 6 months ago | (#46159857)

I cannot believe they would do something like this. Is there something that I do not understand about this? Is it really that much of a burden to provide access to updates?

Re:Is this maybe justifiable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46159925)

This is to help the NSA to target servers of Interest.
Or maybe pay for having to keep backdoor software and firmware up to date.
Hopefully a 3rd party clearing house will replicate the top 80% everything .

Re:Is this maybe justifiable? (4, Insightful)

FaxeTheCat (1394763) | about 6 months ago | (#46159933)

Is there something that I do not understand about this?

Yes. They want more customers to pay for support.
What THEY do not understand is that people will start buying Dell.

Re:Is this maybe justifiable? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 6 months ago | (#46160181)

But.. but... they are going to "provide the best value and experience for our customers"! Surely paying for vital security and bug fixes to make your product work properly is a better value experience than getting them for free!?

Their statement is like a parody of reason.

Re:Is this maybe justifiable? (1)

khasim (1285) | about 6 months ago | (#46160109)

Is it really that much of a burden to provide access to updates?

It costs MORE to put a system in place to verify your contract status before allowing you to download something than it does to just have the download publicly available.

If this was about saving money they'd look into a torrent.

This is about trying to turn an expense into a profit.

So there goes the secondary market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46159859)

If I can't download patches, fixes, drivers and whatnot from HP without a "support agreement" I will not be recycling used servers. They are going straight to the trash heap. But that's the point of all this isn't it? Thanks HP! Gee, is this the kind of decision making we are getting out of the "eBay CEO"? Stupid move.

HP used to be greatl (5, Insightful)

MarkvW (1037596) | about 6 months ago | (#46159861)

Hewlett and Packard were something special.

Now it's just a bunch of MBAs trying to massage their stock price.

Re:HP used to be greatl (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46160009)

They went from reversd polish to reverse the charges.

Re:HP used to be greatl (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46160047)

Ayup. Even pointing to the rest of the industry doing the same nickle-and-diming too--which is true, they're not the first to do this. Much like how thinkpads used to be great, but now they're just exactly like the rest of the offerings. Nothing special, in fact a bit crappy.

Harvard Buiness School grads are noted for this. (5, Interesting)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about 6 months ago | (#46160103)

Now it's just a bunch of MBAs trying to massage their stock price.

You got that right.

Algorithm:
  - Get hired for a big salary and a LOT of stock options.
  - Make the company appear more profitable by cutting off investments in the future to reduce costs now.
  - Declare victory and what a great guy you are.
  - Cash in the stock options and move on to a bigger company where you can repeat the process for even more money and reputation points. PROFIT!
  - Your successor inherits the house of cards and takes the blame when it collapses a few years later.

The Harvard Business School has a reputation for graduates who use this algorithm.

Interestingly, boards of directors keep falling for this. (You'd think they'd look at what happens to companies candidates had "turned around" in the several years AFTER they left when evaluating CEO, COO, and CFO candidates. But apparently they usually don't.)

= = = =

Similarly, if a high company official starts enthusing about the book "Crossing the Chasm" and you're an early hire, cash any vested stock options and get out, before you and the other early hires are laid off. (Interestingly, they usually fire them too soon, when they're still key to the company's success, and the company usually falls INTO the chasm rather than crossing it.)

Re:HP used to be greatl (5, Interesting)

SJ (13711) | about 6 months ago | (#46160123)

You're mistaking this company for the original HP. "HP" nowadays is actually Compaq. The old HP that everyone knew and loved is now (at least used to be) Aligent. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A... [wikipedia.org]
They are now Aligent and Keysight.

So anywhere you read something about "HP" doing something stupid... Think "Compaq" instead, and it all makes sense.

Re:HP used to be greatl (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46160401)

Actually - That makes a heap of sense.

No - I'm not being a cunt - Every time I hear HP doing some bone-headed thing, I thought to myself "why is an engineering company doing this?" If I think Compaq - It makes a heap of sense.

Re:HP used to be greatl (4, Informative)

dargaud (518470) | about 6 months ago | (#46160705)

Aligent ? The company that, when I purchased memory upgrades for our digital oscilloscopes, send me a huge box. Containing carefully wrapped smaller boxes. Containing yet other carefully wrapped smaller boxes. Containing a wrapped envelopes. Containing a number to type on each oscilloscope, and 'poof!' magic, the memory doubled.

Needless to say I was outraged. Not so much at the waste of cardboard and foam material. Not so much at the fact that they couldn't send 8 numbers by email. No, at the fact that the memory was already inside our equipment that we'd paid for, but that we needed to pay extra to actually use it. Fuckers. I now do everything in my power to make sure we never buy from people who use this kind of commercial behavior.

Re:HP used to be greatl (1)

dargaud (518470) | about 6 months ago | (#46160707)

Aligent. Agilent. Whatever. It's not like I need to remember their name except to avoid them.

clean my pc please (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46159875)

where's the SPAM

HP fucking people as always... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46159883)

I wish HP stops manufacturing everything...
They sell crappy stuff..

"HP has made significant investments in its intellectual capital to provide the best value and experience for our customers"... my ass

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhokVE8Pw84

This is it (4, Insightful)

Trogre (513942) | about 6 months ago | (#46159899)

Ladies and gentleman, this is it.

This is the end of Hewlett Packard.

Re:This is it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46160405)

Pretty much - We abandoned them about 12 months ago for IBM and Dell.

IBM blade chassis system are good, support is good. Dell is cheaper and less quality, but their support is far better.

Service packs? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46159903)

Aren't service packs and firmware updates fixes to defective computers/software? Why are they trying to charge for fixing something that is not supposed to be broken in the first place?

Re:Service packs? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46159951)

And they get a perverse incentive to deliberately deliver broken products from the outset.

Not their first bad call (1)

atari2600a (1892574) | about 6 months ago | (#46159919)

Remember when one of their pilot-ey guys in engineering wasn't put on their new microcomputer division?

Devils Advocate (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 6 months ago | (#46159935)

If a manufacturer ships hardware with exploitable defects and takes more than three years to identify them, should the consumer have to pay for the vendor to fix the these defects?"

If it took longer than the warranty period (remember, you still get free access as long as the warranty is valid) - why not?

Look at this the other way. Lets say you sell something you warrant to work for three years. Some four years later, there's some kind of security flaw - why should the company not need some extra funds to develop a fix? To my mind this change is something that will lead to better support for older products, because you can keep on paying and demanding fixes for your payments...

Re:Devils Advocate (4, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 6 months ago | (#46159993)

Look at this the other way. Lets say you sell something you warrant to work for three years. Some four years later, there's some kind of security flaw - why should the company not need some extra funds to develop a fix? To my mind this change is something that will lead to better support for older products, because you can keep on paying and demanding fixes for your payments...

Car analogy! Have you ever heard of a safety recall? You will note that it isn't only new vehicles, or vehicles still under warranty that get recalled. It's ALL the defective vehicles, and the manufacturer has to pay for the repairs. Why you may ask? Because they designed something that is faulty and thus poses a risk not only to the people who bought the car, but to everyone else on the road. Why should software security be any different? If you get compromised, it doesn't just affect you, it can potentially affect a lot of other people.

Now of course for bugs that aren't security related you maybe have a point, if the back seat cupholder tends to break in a car the manufacturer may not be held reliable to fix it, as it doesn't pose a safety risk, but of course not fixing it is sort of a dick move....

Re:Devils Advocate (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 6 months ago | (#46160151)

That's a pretty good analogy (as car analogies so often are for some reason), but I can see where HP could still provide real security fixes for free while providing patches simply to work with newer hardware, could fall under the blanket agreement.

The real question in my mind is, if you buy support just to download a patch and then cancel again, are you obligated to uninstall the patch, and will they provide the patch reverter to do so. :-)

Re:Devils Advocate (1, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 6 months ago | (#46160437)

Except that due to the extreme complexity of computer products, it's practically impossible to make anything non-trivial that isn't initially riddled with defects.

Re:Devils Advocate (2, Insightful)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 6 months ago | (#46160491)

Yes, but cars are heavily regulated, computers are not... In addition, there is a time limit beyond which they no longer do recalls and the manufactures no longer have to pay for them.

After all, when is the last time you heard of a recall of a 1978 Chevy? There is a sunset period beyond which no one cares anymore. With the speed of computer development, that period is much shorter than cars.

Re:Devils Advocate (1)

CTU (1844100) | about 6 months ago | (#46159995)

It is aad that most likely there are newer still under warranty systems that could/would have this trouble ye they can get more money for it :(

Re:Devils Advocate (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46160119)

Devil's advocate's devil's advocate: under this model, isn't it in the manufacturer's interest to delay fixes until after the warranty expires?

Sortof the opposite of "Why buy a cow when you can get the milk for free?" --> "Why give away the milk for free when you can wait a few months and charge them extra for organic, ultra-pasteurized milk instead?" The customer can either buy a new cow or pay for a milk contract. Either way, you make money.

Re:Devils Advocate (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 6 months ago | (#46160141)

under this model, isn't it in the manufacturer's interest to delay fixes until after the warranty expires?

No, because they still want customers, and no patches quickly equals no customers.

Re:Devils Advocate (1)

Stolpskott (2422670) | about 6 months ago | (#46160291)

Lets say you sell something you warrant to work for three years. Some four years later, there's some kind of security flaw - why should the company not need some extra funds to develop a fix? To my mind this change is something that will lead to better support for older products, because you can keep on paying and demanding fixes for your payments...

Let's say that I buy a brand new HP product, and then inside of 1 month I notice a bug in the firmware. It doesn't stop the system working, because that server is not hosting anything on its secondary RAID array other than a set of backup disks that I can put on a different controller (i.e. it causes a problem, but I have an easy and 100% effective workaround). However, I report the bug to HP. On that server, I download all available firmware updates and apply them as they are released.
3 years later, that system is out of warranty but I now need to start using that secondary disk array, and HP has now released a firmware patch to fix the bug that I reported when first using the system.
In this case, the "different controller" happened to be a RAID card that had been purchased for a different project which was on-off-on-off- and then finally back on, so we had to purchase another RAID card, which was a smaller expense than swapping out the entire HP server for one with different firmware (the other option we had).

At the time we had this issue, we could just download the patch from HP for our now out-of-warranty system. Under this new policy, we could not have done so.

If companies fix their firmware issues in a timely fashion, my problem does not arise. As it is, I can see a huge demand on Torrent sites for HP firmware updates coming up, or contract network professionals trying to build up firmware libraries through companies that do maintain their HP service agreements.

Re:Devils Advocate (2)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 6 months ago | (#46160505)

While that all sounds nice, you're leaving off an option. What if, without the payments, HP simply does not fix anything for any hardware that is out of warranty?

If they say "we'll keep fixing and updating for 3 years, then forget it, on to the new stuff", then what?

Just consider that, before you throw out the baby with the bath water. Why exactly do they have to provide updates forever?

Frankly, Microsoft has done everyone a huge disservice by supporting XP for so long, people have gotten this idea that computers should be updated forever.

Thank goodness.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46159961)

They have needed to go out of business for a long time. Yuck. and those 300 mb driver packs...wtf.

Re:Thank goodness.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46160273)

Lucky you, I once installed a more than gigabyte of "driver" for my brothers HP printer/scanner. There was absolutely no way to select what bloatware to install with the driver, just a next-next-ok-wait-for-an-hour -installer. I have never even looked at HP's printers on store after that occasion.

Re: Thank goodness.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46160489)

Those are not really "driver packs" , they're the full software solution for whatever product you purchased. Someone a long time ago who had no idea what they were doing named them incorrectly. And it is true that you used to not be able to deselect the bloatware, but recent products it's changed and even a lot of the bloatware has been removed (for SOME products, not all). There's definitely some bad experiences in the past and the software isn't the greatest, but it's not as bad as it used to be and it's generally better than the competition, which are at the level of HP 7 years ago with bloatware and software quality.

Thanks for posting this! (4, Insightful)

Nick Lowe (3421741) | about 6 months ago | (#46159963)

Wow! What a great reason to avoid buying new server hardware from HP! It is a massive disincentive to purchase. I cannot help but think this is supremely short sighted and a decision made by somebody up high who is not technically inclined.

Re:Thanks for posting this! (1)

tibit (1762298) | about 6 months ago | (#46160089)

I now really revel in having the foresight to use HP for networking gear, and Dell for servers. This division of labor has kept me happy for 15+ years.

HP already does this for consumer level customers (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46159975)

Its happened twice this year that I've tried to find drivers on the HP website for notebooks aged 3-5 years, and found they're not on the HP website. After phoning HP I'm told that warranty isn't valid and for this kind of support I must pay an hourly fee. Only after threats of a lawsuit and an hour of my time occupied, the rep has been able to e-mail the drivers to me, instead of actually listing them on their website for the other owners of the same models.

Re:HP already does this for consumer level custome (2)

oobayly (1056050) | about 6 months ago | (#46160033)

That's interesting, my experience was the exact opposite. I was recycling my HP desktop for a colleague to use and realised that I hadn't created recovery media after sticking Linux on it. I called HP expecting to be charged for the media (it was 18 months out if warranty) and the bloke just sent it out free of charge. It turns out I now have two copies - I found the original media when clearing out a cupboard a month later.

Maybe the difference was consumer grade laptop vs business grade desktop, even if it that were the case, there'll probably be no difference between the two now.

So HP is trying to be Oracle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46159985)

I know Oracle, and HP is no Oracle.

Stick to your shitty underpriced printers and your overpriced unicorn blood that's being used as ink, HP.

At least they're being more honest about it now (1)

laing (303349) | about 6 months ago | (#46159997)

HP is not the same company it was before the Compaq merger, but I see this as an improvement over some of their recent past underhanded tactics. One example that comes to mind is the time that I had to pay >$1k for a "refurbished" tape drive (rather than forking out over twice that for a new one) after a firmware "upgrade" caused the drive to self destruct by adding a useless and stressing servo limit test at power up.
HP isn't the best at anything anymore, but they certainly still rake in the profits (largely from ink jet refill cartridges).
Save yourself some money and a future headache by buying a Xerox printer, a Fujitsu scanner, or a Dell computer.

C'est la vie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46160005)

"If a manufacturer ships hardware with exploitable defects and takes more than three years to identify them, should the consumer have to pay for the vendor to fix the these defects?"

The answer is, if the company charges for such, then the consumer should have to pay for such. Of course the consumer could flip off the vendor and buy somewhere else too. I mean, it's just an idea. That everyone has now.

Warranty? What warranty? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46160031)

Have a nice little brick here. Supposed to be a procurve switch, but no power, and hp refuses to honour any and all support requests. They're supposed to have lifetime warranty, but evidently not. Not so surprising the support for the rest is going to pot too.

A rebranding opportunity! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46160045)

This is so ridiculously unacceptable...

Sounds like HP is rebranding itself as not giving a shit about the long-term well being of its customers or their data, or their business.

if HP doesn't stand for its customers, what does "H.P." stand for now?

Re:A rebranding opportunity! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46160297)

Haista Paska

What? (4, Funny)

edibobb (113989) | about 6 months ago | (#46160053)

Did HP hire Ballmer?

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46160269)

No, I guess they hired Bieber!

HP can't sell enough servers... (5, Interesting)

angrygretchen (838748) | about 6 months ago | (#46160085)

We are a small shop and we are running 3 VMs on a single HP Proliant G7 Server. It has enough memory and resources that it could probably run an additional 7 VMs if we wanted to. HP is having to face the reality that the people are buying less hardware because realistically the ratio of VMs to servers is high as 10:1. HP is trying to gouge customers on the warranty because they can't make it up in server sales. Our Proliant DL380 G7 hit the 3 year mark a few months ago and is now out of warranty. The additional cost of the most basic warranty (4 hours/day phone, no onsite) for a single Proliant server is approximately $3000 for three years. That is easily half the cost of the server. And that's the cheapest warranty option. Don't even ask about the 24/7 onsite warranty. This change effectively kills the secondary market for HP hardware. Denying access to firmware means that it will be next to impossible to install or update your OS. I've had to run the HP SPP firmware upate several times to address issues that would otherwise have rendered our Proliant server useless. In fact I have an unresolved issue with our server where it refuses to reboot to the OS, unless I boot from the HP SPP tool first. If I need a critical firmware update in the future, the only option may be the Piratebay. Ugh If HP doesn't reverse this decision, our next server will most likely be a Dell. Unless Dell decides to follow HP into the dark side as well.

Re:HP can't sell enough servers... (1)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 6 months ago | (#46160531)

But you're also your own problem. HP wants (or needs) you to buy a new server every 3 years. You already say that you run 3 VMs, but that your existing hardware can handle 7 more.

Now you're saying you don't want to buy from HP again, but you don't need to, your existing hardware is enough and probably will be for another 3 years. You aren't actually an HP customer anymore, it has now been too long and you won't buy in the near future either.

HP has done the math and figured that customers like you aren't worth having, unless you're willing to pay up. I expect Dell to follow suit soon, now that they are private, they can do this if Michael wants to.

Goodbuy HP! (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | about 6 months ago | (#46160117)

I used to buy HP servers all the time but this move will not land them any deal whatsoever in the future. I rarely use their downloads except for an occasional d/l of a bios/firmware update, and 100% of the time because of some bug that made something not work.

I am annoyed as hell with their premium charging for disks, especially SSD disks that they markup really big. 600$ for an 100GB SSD SATA MLC disk?

Wringing money out of your customers at the same time as cloud computing is taking off is not a smart move. A desperate attempt at getting the last money out of your market before it collapses perhaps, but not smart.

User (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46160121)

By HP, the worst web page of all manufactures,

"that they would no longer be able to access or download service packs, firmware patches and bug-fixes for their server hardware without a valid support agreement in place"

So we by your servers , but this is not enough, u need more money..

"'HP has made significant investments in its intellectual capital to provide the best value and experience for our customers"

We are going to charge you for our mistakes

"We continue to offer a differentiated customer experience with our comprehensive support portfolio. ..."

Money, money, money........

Did you even read the notice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46160203)

The notice is about HP 9000 (read PA-RISC and HP-UX) and HP Integrity (read Itanium and HP-UX). HP 9000 was end-of-saled years ago and you know Itanium. The products are a dying remnant that some companies may be trying to stick to. Honestly, sometimes just people need to let go.

So if you're yelling loudly about your network or PC stuff not getting BIOS-upgrades, go back to fix your comments.
(What a coincidence, the captcha word is "extort")

Re:Did you even read the notice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46160339)

You should at least read the article before you post; this covers more than just HP-9000.

Re:Did you even read the notice? (4, Informative)

Golden_Rider (137548) | about 6 months ago | (#46160485)

The notice is about HP 9000 (read PA-RISC and HP-UX) and HP Integrity (read Itanium and HP-UX). HP 9000 was end-of-saled years ago and you know Itanium. The products are a dying remnant that some companies may be trying to stick to. Honestly, sometimes just people need to let go.

So if you're yelling loudly about your network or PC stuff not getting BIOS-upgrades, go back to fix your comments.
(What a coincidence, the captcha word is "extort")

No, it's just that the link went to the email received by a customer who is using HP9000 stuff. The change DOES also apply to the usual stuff like HP Proliant DL380 etc. For example, the mail I received today (as a Proliant user) was:

"Update: HP ProLiant Servers: Access to Firmware Updates & Service Pack for ProLiant

You are receiving this communication because you have been identified as a customer using HP ProLiant Servers and HP Services.

HP has made significant investments in its intellectual capital to provide the best value and experience for our customers. We continue to offer a differentiated customer experience with our comprehensive support portfolio. HP, as an industry leader, is well positioned to provide reliable support services across the globe with proprietary tools, HP trained engineers, and genuine certified HP parts. Only HP customers and authorized channel partners may download and use support materials.

In line with this commitment, starting in February 2014, Hewlett-Packard Company will change the way firmware updates and Service Pack for ProLiant (SPP) on HP ProLiant server products are accessed. Select server firmware and SPP on these products will only be accessed through the HP Support Center http://customer.hp.com/r?2.1.3... [hp.com] to customers with an active support agreement, HP CarePack, or warranty linked to their HP Support Center User ID and for the specific products being updated. We encourage you to review your current support coverage to ensure you have the appropriate coverage to maintain uninterrupted access to firmware updates and SPP for these products. "

Re:Did you even read the notice? (1)

adnonsense (826530) | about 6 months ago | (#46160577)

The change DOES also apply to the usual stuff like HP Proliant DL380 etc.

Yup, we got the same mail today. We have a bunch of ageing Proliants, and are currently engaged in a procurement round for a new generation of servers (we buy them by the ton, almost). Guess which company just ruled themselves out of the process?

I knew there was a good reason.... (2)

Bomarc (306716) | about 6 months ago | (#46160241)

Last year -- I downloaded all the Compaq (now HP) SP's from their FTP site -- don't quite know what to do with them. I downloaded all of the SP's in case HP stopped supporting 'older' Compaq's (There are several of the old systems that I like for nostalgia)

Now for the big problem: HP or Dell. Dell is firing 15,000 of it's employees --- and HP's new support policy sucks (REALLY sucks).

My question is .. is this policy going to follow through with other HP equipment? I've got a HP color laser jet printer: Will I experience the same issue with that? I've got three HP scanners -- will I need to put them in the garbage? (No one will want them if they can't get even basic driver support).

I do know this much: If I need to "throw away" otherwise perfectly good equipment as HP will not provide basic user accessible support for it -- I will not replace the equipment from the same manufacturer with the same BAD policy. I have three 'old' Proliant (580, 585 & 360) servers in use now. If (when) they fail -- the equipment will not be replaced with modern equipment from HP (assuming this policy remains in place).

Couldn't resist (4, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | about 6 months ago | (#46160357)

Now for the big problem: HP or Dell.

There's always Oracle hardware [oracle.com] .... OK this is self-confessed flamebate!

Re:Couldn't resist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46160443)

IBM was left out - as they are selling out.

Re:Couldn't resist (1)

jabuzz (182671) | about 6 months ago | (#46160611)

Oracle started requiring a valid support contract to download these sorts of things years ago. A lot of people stopped purchasing Oracle/Sun hardware specifically because of this.

The view held by most system admins, and historically the way it has been is that firmware updates for your servers are free of charge. Actual hardware issues (failed disks, PSU's etc.) will require a support contract to be in place or you are on your own.

While I am sure that this will maximize HP's profits in the short term long term a large number of people will jump ship to a different vendor who is not pulling this stunt and profits will be down.

I can image the meetings... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46160245)

Dev: Well, we've found a rather nasty exploit in Product X.
Sales: Great! We've got 50 mil in support contracts ending in two weeks. Sit on it until then.
Dev: ...

Re:I can image the meetings... (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 6 months ago | (#46160345)

Dev: Well, we've found a rather nasty exploit in Product X. Sales: Great! We've got 50 mil in support contracts ending in two weeks. Sit on it until then. Dev: ...

And get the developers to put another obscure hole in that we can release to the wild in 12 months time...

Re:I can image the meetings... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46160583)

Dev: Well, we've found a rather nasty exploit in Product X.
Sales: Great! We've got 50 mil in support contracts ending in two weeks. Sit on it until then.
Dev: ...

And get the developers to put another obscure hole in that we can release to the wild in 12 months time...

Please. We're talking about firmware here. It's pretty well tied to a clock. They don't have to release jack shit. All they have to do is code the time-released bug in the firmware before it even leaves the factory. Wow, your RAID controller failed suddenly 3 months out of warranty? Imagine that...

Bad Summary: Read the Article! Only HP Integrity a (0)

LordFolken (731855) | about 6 months ago | (#46160365)

I doubt this affects many people. Or do you seriously still use Itanium in 2014?

Re:Bad Summary: Read the Article! Only HP Integrit (1)

Bomarc (306716) | about 6 months ago | (#46160427)

The announcement affects all Proliant equipment.

From a search on equipment that I own:
Important note: HP ProLiant Server firmware access
Starting February 2014, an active warranty or contract is required to access HP ProLiant Server firmware updates. View your existing contracts & warranties or get help linking contracts or warranties to your HP Support Center user profile. To obtain additional support coverage, please contact your local HP office, HP representative, or visit Contact HP. Click here for more information.

Re:Bad Summary: Read the Article! Only HP Integrit (1)

LordFolken (731855) | about 6 months ago | (#46160679)

I saw this too now.. thats idiotic.

Re:Bad Summary: Read the Article! Only HP Integrit (1)

tomofumi (831434) | about 6 months ago | (#46160465)

someone should edit the top post... "...beginning September 2013, Hewlett-Packard Company will change the way firmware updates on HP Integrity and HP 9000 products are accessed..."

In which countries? (3, Interesting)

ukoda (537183) | about 6 months ago | (#46160375)

I suspect they will only try this in some countries. They would be in breach of consumer laws in countries like New Zealand to charge to fix defects.

Regardless, other have said, it will weight in favour of other suppliers for new purchases.

Re:In which countries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46160587)

No consumer involved. This is corporate / enterprise level.

message: don't buy HP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46160425)

I think they have delusions of having their customers by the short and curlies they way Oracle does or Sun did. There are only so many HP-UX customers left to squeeze, anyone else will just replace the old servers with something from an all too willing competitor.

Did Larry buy HP when I wasnt looking? (1)

1MC (639112) | about 6 months ago | (#46160479)

Sun hardware has this - nasty. HP going for the lock-in, Ellison style - but I presume Meg wont miss her keynote while chasing Americas Cup yachts!

HP mistake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46160487)

First, only support OS releases for a limited time (sometimes less than warranty period; W2012 for DL380 G6 after much wrangling many other products dropped to premature death only to wrestle more sales).

Second, no firmware updates for new CPU revisions (ML110 G7 and Z210: no support for E3-12xx -v2 or -v3).

Third, charge for the firmware that passes First and Second above.

Fourth/last, go out of business, enough is enough, I'll think about going elsewhere next. Certainly long before paying the outrageous support fees now demanded.

Really, when I bough the products I expected firmware updates for life, now they cost. I'm disappointed and a bit miffed (again).

Result: lots of cheap servers on eBay and pissed of HP customers.

Stupid (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 6 months ago | (#46160541)

No one needs to use their products. This puts them at a competitive disadvantage.

Indifferent to anything else, this is a stupid business decision. Who is management at this company and why are they incompetent?

Apotheker's dream come true. (2)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 6 months ago | (#46160547)

A few years from now, HP will no longer sell hardware.

HP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46160615)

Hijos de Puta.

Who, now? (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | about 6 months ago | (#46160691)

I just recommended a laserjet multifunction printer to my dad (he was burning through ink in am inkjet and his scanner was getting flakey under OS X).

What should I recommend people in the future? Particularly the Linux/OS X crowd? Or am I just jumping a little too early?

(I'm a little nervous as the installation process for my Laserjet m1217 on Linux Mint involves downloading a proprietary blob from HP.)

UK Sales of Goods Act (SOGA) 1974 as amended (1)

ermintru (797621) | about 6 months ago | (#46160717)

Like to see them get around that, even if your goods are out of warranty or service you still have statutory rights that last much longer. http://sogahub.tradingstandard... [tradingstandards.gov.uk] If a critics bug l but was found in firmware that was there from day 1 or introduced by them while fixing other problems then they would have to fix it or be in breach of the sales of goods act and technically no time limit that only starts when a fault is discovered. If you wanted new or added features then they would not have to provide them under SOGA. Loads of info here http://sogahub.tradingstandard... [tradingstandards.gov.uk]
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