Hewlett-Packard is throwing a year 2000 life raft out to users marooned on an obsolete version of its Unix operating system.
The company has announced a series of initiatives intended to help customers who use its HP-UX 9.x operating system migrate to newer year 2000-compliant HP-UX versions and supported applications.
The moves reverse an earlier decision by the company to halt by the end of this year all support for the several versions of HP-UX 9.x still in use. Now HP, which has announced two major upgrades to its operating environment since Version 9.x, is pledging continued support through next year.
"It's been a bit of a push-and-pull situation. Some of our customers kept coming back to us for help in making their 9.x software year 2000-compliant," said Janice Chaffin, US-based general manager of HP's high-performance systems division. "For our part, it's a push to get these customers to a safe place."
HP is offering all Version HP-UX 9.x customers a free upgrade to HP-UX 10.20 as well as to HP applications, middleware and tools that are supported on the newer operating system.
For users who are interested in upgrading hardware as well, HP will offer short-term, low-interest hardware leasing options and financing plans. In some cases, that offer could be 50 per cent cheaper than typical lease plans from the company, Chaffin said.
The vendor stopped shipping 9.x software about three years ago and won't release specific numbers or details on the customers who still use 9.x environments.
But HP officials said that only 5 per cent of its overall server customers - which includes both Windows NT and Unix - still run the old version of its operating systems.