HP has issued an email informing all existing Enterprise Server customers that they would no longer be able to access or download, firmware patches and bug-fixes for their server hardware without a valid support agreement in place. The email said that HP has made significant investments in its intellectual capital to provide the best value and experience for its customers.
Starting in February 2014, HP will change the way firmware updates and Service Pack for ProLiant (SPP) on HP ProLiant server products are accessed. Select server firmware and SPP on these products will only be accessed through the HP Support Center to customers with an active support agreement, HP CarePack, or warranty linked to their HP Support Centre User ID and for the specific products being updated.'
What this means is that if a manufacturer ships hardware with exploitable defects and takes more than three years to identify them, the consumer will have to pay the vendor to fix them. That will go down well with corporates who are probably already thinking of changing their suppliers.