HP Clarifies Stance on Firmware and Support for Server Customers

Paul Lilly

Safety and security updates will remain free to all of HP's server customers

Hewlett-Packard ruffled a few feathers on Friday when Mary McCoy, Vice President of HP Servers - Support Technology Services stated in a blog post that HP would only provide future firmware updates to customers with a valid warranty, Care Pack Service, or support agreement. The policy was to go into effect beginning February 19, 2014, but as that date draws near -- and the rumblings grow louder -- McCoy today took to the blogosphere to explain the decision and clarify HP's stance on safety and security updates .

Straight and to the point, all server customers will continue to receive security updates regardless of warranty status. What about firmware updates?

"The firmware access changes we are making on February 19, 2014 apply to HP ProLiant servers only. Specifically, within ProLiant, we are not putting entitlement requirements on iLO, I/O, or controller firmware; we are only entitling ProLiant system ROM and complex programming logic devices (CPLD) firmware," McCoy stated in a new blog post today.

Though HP is limiting the policy to ProLiant customers, it covers a wide range of products, everything from low-end servers all the way up to enterprise grade servers. HP justifies the move by saying warranty sales is part of the way it's able to invest in and create new products, though the policy could end up driving customers to competitors like Dell and IBM that don't charge for out-of-warranty firmware updates.

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