Hewlett-Packard has changed its direction on OpenVMS. Instead of pushing its users off the system, it has licensed OpenVMS to a new firm that plans to develop ports to the latest Itanium chips and is promising eventual support for x86 processors.
Last year, HP put OpenVMS on the path to extinction. It said it would not validate the operating system to its latest hardware or produce new versions of it. The move to license the OpenVMS source code to a new entity, VMS Software Inc. (VSI), amounts to a reversal of that earlier decision.
HP isn't calling its action a reversal, however, even it completely changes the previously announced roadmap for the OS. An HP official said the partnership proposal arrived on its own months ago from VSI, and company officials became convinced it was good one.
"I think it's going to get the customers what they want," Randy Meyer, vice president and general manager of Mission Critical Systems at HP, said in an interview.
What many OpenVMS customers want is to stay on the OS. HP stirred up complaints among OpenVMS users with its earlier announcement that it would not validate OpenVMS beyond Integrity i2 services running the Tukwila quad-core processors. That decision effectively put the OS on an end-of-life path.
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