joshitnc (3525909) 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 HP 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, stating:
"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 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."
If a manufacturer ships hardware with exploitable defects and takes more than 3 years to identify them, should the consumer have to pay for the vendor to fix the these defects?"