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March 2003

Proposal terms offer a working draft

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.”

Paivinen’s message

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,
Mike Paivinen
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 HP’s 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 “As-Is.”

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 with MPE/iX.

8. Are expensive subsystems, such as 24x7 TurboStore included?

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 $500?

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 MPE/iX?


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 licensee.

12. What does the “AS-IS” clause mentioned in the new MPE license mean, and why has this been added to the new license?

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 emulator vendors.

14. Does the new MPE license allow me to run MPE on an e3000?

No, the new license covers an emulated environment only.

15. Does the new MPE license allow me to run MPE on a 9000?

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?

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 the emulator.

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 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 can’t the new MPE license be transferred to a new owner, as can be done today?

HP’s goal is to have the licensing of MPE/iX be simple and automated. The anticipated low price for MPE/iX reflects this goal.

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 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?

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 choices?

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 new host?

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 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 e3000?

No, the emulator vendors are free to emulate any model of an e3000, including a fully functional, unlimited-user, and unlimited-process system.

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 HPCPUNAME.

31. Where can I find more information about this emulator concept, and who are the main companies looking at it right now?

Please see the emulator pages, which will be hosted on the openmpe.org web site.


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