HP Charging for ProLiant Server Firmware Updates

Hewlett-Packard will, after all, provide security and safety updates to all of its server customers. The turnaround follows negative customer feedback after the company recently decided to limit all firmware updates just to those customers with warranties or a support agreement. However, HP will start charging for firmware updates for its ProLiant line of servers.

On Friday, Vice President for HP Servers/Support Mary McCoy announced on the HP Technical Support Services Blog that the company will EUprovide firmware updates through the HP Support Center only to customers with a valid warranty, Care Pack Service or support agreement.EU

She said the decision was part of the companyEUs goal EUto provide access to the latest HP firmware, which is valuable intellectual property, for our customers who have chosen to maximize and protect their IT investments.EU McCoy acknowledged the decision was EUa change from how weEUve done business in the past,EU but added that it was the EUright decisionEU and aligned with industry best practices.

EUNot in a Good WayEU

Comments on HPEUs own blog reflected customer outrage. A user posting as William Plein wrote that he found EUthis move amazing, and not in a good way.EU He added that other major server vendors do not have such a policy, making EUfirmware and driver downloads available free of charge without requiring a service contract.EU

Another user, Michael Graziano, posted that EUIBM for example continues to make firmware updates available to the general public.EU Yet another, Joe Belian, said that firmware is intended EUto fix functionality over 90 percent of the time,EU not to add features.

Dell provides unrestricted access to BIOS and software updates for its entire line, and Cisco requires only registration. However, in January, IBM began an EUentitlement validationEU for firmware on selected machines.

On Tuesday, McCoy posted again on the HP site. She noted that the firmware...

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