HP proposes new MPE licenses for
First draft of HPs offer to cost $500; company
expects to issue licenses in 2004
Homesteading customers of the HP 3000 got a new hook to hang
their hopes upon Feb. 22, when HP posted its first cut after midnight
about licensing details for new copies of MPE.
Mike Paivinen, the HP MPE architect and engineer assigned
to organize HPs response to customer requests for a longer MPE
lifespan, posted a notice to the OpenMPE mailing list after midnight
Saturday night, outlining HPs intentions to sell more MPE after
Oct. 31 of this year.
What follows is Paivinens message and a Frequently
Asked Questions (FAQ) on the current state of the HP MPE licensing
proposal. HP has not yet made a firm commitment to the new licenses,
which are a vital part of any effort to create an HP 3000 emulator
running on non-3000 hardware. The HP proposal still includes the
phrases HP intends, which represents no change from
HPs position at the 2002 HP World conference meetings about
Paivinen posted his message on behalf of the virtual
CSY, since the HP 3000 organization was officially merged into
a larger HP group last year. The message refers to this 3000 business
unit as vCSY.
At HP World last year, a number of questions were raised
about HP's intentions for licensing and distributing MPE/iX. The
major concern seemed to be that without some more details, companies
interested in creating a PA-RISC platform emulator would be unable to
fully evaluate their business case for moving forward with an
emulator project. Below is HP's current proposal for distributing the
MPE/iX operating system independent of the HP e3000 hardware
platform. All of your questions and comments are much appreciated and
will be considered in subsequent drafts.
This proposal reflects the current intent of HP based on
current knowledge and information. It is possible that HP will not be
able to deliver on the points mentioned below. The descriptions and
FAQ below are subject to change at any time.
Thanks and regards,
MPE/iX R&D Project Manager
vCSY intends to establish a new distribution plan for the
MPE/iX operating system (OS) which will likely be effective by early
2004. The MPE/iX OS would be licensed independent of the HP e3000
hardware platform. The license terms would grant the licensee the
right to use a single copy of MPE/iX on a single HP hardware platform
subject to certain terms and conditions. Such terms and conditions
would require MPE/iX to be run in an emulated environment, hosted on
an HP platform, and would include a statement that MPE is provided
"AS-IS" with no warranty.
HP does not intend to provide an emulator nor endorse the use
of an emulator. The HP recommended action for e3000 customers
continues to be to transition from MPE/iX to another HP platform. At
the same time HP realizes that some customers are interested in
running MPE/iX applications in an emulated environment.
The expected price for an MPE/iX license is roughly $500 and
reflects the cost to HP to sell MPE/iX. It is non-refundable and the
right to use MPE/iX is non-transferable. The licensee will not be
able sublicense their right to use MPE/iX, even on a temporary basis.
HP intends the new MPE/iX software license to include certain MPE/iX,
add-on subsystems. The full list of bundled subsystems has not yet
If the licensee, already running in an emulated environment,
desires to update to a newer version of MPE/iX and/or its subsystems
(even running on the same hardware) then the licensee must purchase a
new version of MPE/iX, which will include a new license. If the
licensee, already running in an emulated environment, wishes to use
MPE/iX on a platform different from the original, he/she may do so
without involving HP. This requires: 1) the licensee to move MPE/iX
and included subsystems from the original emulated platform to the
new emulated platform, 2) the new target system is an HP platform,
and 3) MPE/iX is being run in an emulated environment, meaning it is
not running natively on the target platform.
Customers wishing to test an emulator in their own work
environment will need to buy a copy of MPE/iX to obtain the new
MPE/iX license. If they decide not to purchase the emulator they
still will have the right to use the MPE/iX license at a later time.
Since the MPE/iX license is not transferable and cannot be
sublicensed, an emulator vendor cannot preload MPE/iX on their
product, nor can they purchase an MPE/iX license in the name of a
customer. However, emulator vendors may buy their own MPE/iX
license(s) and demonstrate the emulator using customer data.
HPs Licensing FAQ
1. What is the price for MPE/iX?
A. HP intends to sell MPE/iX and certain HP MPE/iX add-on
subsystems for approximately $500 USD.
2. When can I buy MPE for this price?
A. HP intends to offer MPE/iX and the extra add-on subsystems
in the early 2004 timeframe.
3. What if one or more emulators are completed prior to the
early 2004 date, will HP consider moving this date up?
A. This 2004 time period reflects HP's current intent. Please
do not assume an earlier date.
4. Under what terms will MPE/iX be licensed?
A. HP intends to create new license terms for MPE/iX that
differ from the current license terms. The purchaser (licensee) will
be granted the right to use MPE/iX and certain add-on subsystems, as
long as MPE/iX is run in an emulated environment that is hosted on an
HP platform. The licensee will not own MPE/iX or the HP add-on
subsystems. HP intends to license MPE/iX "As-Is".
5. How can I buy MPE?
A. This has not been decided at this time, but we hope to
offer MPE/iX and certain subsystems via an HP Web site. The customer
should be able to purchase MPE/iX online, download the OS, or have it
shipped on CD.
6. Which MPE/iX add-on subsystems are included?
A. HP intends to bundle all of the HP proprietary MPE/iX
add-on subsystems after the end-of-support date. Prior to this date,
some add-on subsystems may be bundled into the Fundamental Operating
System (FOS), and others may be available at an extra cost. HP has
not yet determined which add-on subsystems will be included in
7. Are obsolete subsystems, such as BRW, included?
A. BRW is not obsolete; however, at this time HP has not
decided which, if any, obsolete add-on subsystems will be bundled
8. Are expensive subsystems, such as 24x7 TurboStore
A. This has not been decided at this time.
9. If a customer buys a used e3000 without any add-on
subsystems, can they buy MPE to get some of the subsystems for
A. No, the new MPE license will not allow MPE to be used in a
native (non-emulated) environment.
10. Will the AIF Procedure Exits (AIF:PE) be included with
11. Who is the licensee the individual that purchases
MPE or the company/entity they work for?
A. The company/entity who employs the individual will be the
licensee, and will be the party that enters into the end user license
terms with HP. In very limited cases an individual may be a
12. What does the "AS-IS" clause mentioned in the
new MPE license mean, and why has this been added to the new
A. This clause means that HP will not provide a warranty or
provide support for MPE/iX under the license agreement. The end user
will be responsible for supporting MPE/iX and uses MPE/iX at his or
her own risk.
13. Why does the new MPE license require me to run MPE on HP
A. HP offers a wide range of Windows-, Linux-, and
HP-UX-based systems that would make suitable host platforms for an
emulated environment. Note: not all of these systems may be able to
host an emulated environment depending on the choices made by the
14. Does the new MPE license allow me to run MPE on an
A. No, the new license covers an emulated environment
15. Does the new MPE license allow me to run MPE on a
A. HP intends the new license to allow a user to run MPE/iX
on a 9000 but only in an emulated environment. If it became possible
to run MPE/iX natively on PA-RISC 9000 series platforms, this new
MPE/iX license would not grant the licensee the right to do so
without changes to its terms and conditions.
16. What happens if no one creates a PA-RISC emulator?
A. This new license would not be offered.
17. Will the emulator vendors be allowed to offer a longer
demonstration period for potential customers to do thorough testing
of the emulator running MPE?
A. No, an emulator customer is expected to purchase MPE/iX at
the full price. The customer needs to bear in mind that the purchase
of MPE/iX will be non-refundable and the license is non-
transferable. This is true even if the customer decides not to buy
18. Why do I have to pay for MPE before I've decided to buy
an emulator, and why can't I get a refund if I decide not to purchase
A. HP plans to sell MPE/iX for significantly less than the
previous price, which ranged from tens of thousands to several
hundred thousand dollars. At the proposed price of $500, HP needs to
keep the process as simple as possible, which means no license
transfers, no refunds, and no special licenses for demo purposes.
Please keep in mind that HP expects that an end user can keep the
copy of MPE/iX and use it later in an emulated environment.
19. Why can't the new MPE license be transferred to a new
owner, as can be done today?
A. HP's goal is to have the licensing of MPE/iX be simple and
automated. The anticipated low price for MPE/iX reflects this
20. If my company simply changes its name do we need to buy
new copies of MPE?
A. HP currently believes the answer is no, provided a company
shows sufficient documentation indicating the name change.
21. If my company, "A", has an agent relationship
with company "B", can I purchase MPE in the name of company
"B" so that it might be bundled with other services I
A. HP currently believes the answer is no, the end
user/entity must directly agree with HP's terms and conditions stated
in the MPE/iX license. HP plans to sell MPE/iX directly to the end
customer, without the assistance of channel partners.
22. If my company acquires another company that has hundreds
of copies of MPE and the licenses to run MPE on emulators, am I
required to get a new MPE license for all of these copies of MPE? Or,
can I use MPE since I will have all of the assets and contracts of
the purchased company?
A. An end user will not be able to transfer the software even
in an acquisition. You will be required to purchase new copies of
MPE/iX with your company being the licensee. Today, in the same
scenario described above, you are required to go through HP's
standard software license transfer process. However, under the new
MPE/iX license, it is expected that a licensee will be prohibited
from transferring the license. Thus new copies must be purchased.
23. I have an e3000 today complete with a valid MPE/iX
license, and I want to run MPE on the emulator -- what are my
A. You may buy a new copy of MPE/iX to run on a PA-RISC
emulator and keep your e3000 fully functional. There have also been
discussions around a "load and go" approach for obtaining
MPE/iX and the supplied MPE/iX subsystems. This idea could involve
transferring MPE/iX to the host platform via disk imaging, or by
physically moving the disk drives from the e3000 to the host
platform. At this time, HP has not decided how we will handle the
licensing implications in cases where MPE/iX is not purchased, but
rather obtained from an existing e3000.
24. What happened to the idea of a transfer license for MPE
from an e3000 to an emulated environment?
A. At the proposed price of $500, HP needs to keep the
process as simple as possible, which means no license transfers.
25. If I buy a new HP platform on which to host the emulator,
can I move MPE from my existing emulated environment to the new
A. Once you have the new MPE/iX license, you may move MPE/iX
from one emulated host platform to another, subject to the terms and
conditions of the license, and without involving HP. Note: a
"move" means the original copy of MPE/iX is fully deleted
from the originating platform.
26. Is the new MPE license tied to a particular release of
27. If I already have a copy of MPE/iX and this new license,
is there a lower priced update to MPE/iX that I can purchase rather
than paying for a full release?
A. No, HP intends that there will be only one price for
MPE/iX and the add-on, bundled subsystems. To obtain a newer version
of MPE/iX you must buy it.
28. Does an MPE license require periodic renewal?
A. No, HP plans to have the license terms grant the end user
a perpetual license, subject to the end user's compliance with the
terms of the license.
29. Will the emulator companies be required to reduce the CPU
clock speed (throttling) to conform to certain models of the
A. No, the emulator vendors are free to emulate any model of
an e3000, including a fully functional, unlimited-user, and
30. How is an ISV protected if HPSUSAN and HPCPUNAME can be
set by emulator companies to any value?
A. These details need to be worked out between the emulator
vendors and the ISVs. At this time HP has no plans to require
emulator companies to maintain certain values for HPSUSAN or
31. Where can I find more information about this emulator
concept, and who are the main companies looking at it right now?
A. Please see the emulator pages which will be hosted on the
openmpe.org web site.