Proposal terms offer a working
HP to take comments on its new MPE license offer
What follows is a message and a Frequently Asked
Questions (FAQ) report form HP engineer Mike Paivinen on the current
state of the HP MPE licensing proposal for emulators: the
currently-undeveloped software that will transform Intel or PA-RISC
systems into HP 3000s.
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 HPs 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 HPs 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 been determined.
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.
1. What is the price for MPE/iX?
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?
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?
This 2004 time period reflects HPs current
intent. Please do not assume an earlier date.
4. Under what terms will MPE/iX be licensed?
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
5. How can I buy MPE?
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?
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 FOS.
7. Are obsolete subsystems, such as BRW, included?
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
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
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
11. Who is the licensee the individual that
purchases MPE or the company/entity they work for?
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
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 hardware?
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
No, the new license covers an emulated environment
15. Does the new MPE license allow me to run MPE on 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
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?
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 Ive
decided to buy an emulator, and why cant I get a refund if I
decide not to purchase the emulator?
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 cant the new MPE license be transferred
to a new owner, as can be done today?
HPs goal is to have the licensing of MPE/iX be
simple and automated. The anticipated low price for MPE/iX reflects
20. If my company simply changes its name do we need
to buy new copies of MPE?
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 provide?
HP currently believes the answer is no, the end
user/entity must directly agree with HPs 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?
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 HPs
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
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?
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
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 MPE?
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?
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?
No, HP plans to have the license terms grant the end
user a perpetual license, subject to the end users 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
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?
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
Please see the emulator pages, which will be hosted
on the openmpe.org web site.