HP has decided that going forward it will only provide firmware updates to customers who have a valid warranty for their equipment which normally means purchasing a support agreement or HP Care Pack.
The server market is a tough one with low margins. IBM has decided they can’t be bothered and have flogged their x86 business to Lenovo. HP has been going through a tough time recently with widespread redundencies and is obviously under pressure both to get a handle on costs and increase revenue so is looking to ensure it can extract maximum extra value from its hardware sales.
HP’s announcement says:
This decision reinforces our goal to 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. We know this is a change from how we’ve done business in the past; however, this aligns with industry best practices and is the right decision for our customers and partners.
Our customers under warranty or support coverage will not need to pay for firmware access, and we are in no way trying to force customers into purchasing extended coverage. That is, and always will be, a customer’s choice.
This is a shortsighted and misguided change which will hurt HP and is certainly not the “right decision” for their customers and partners.