HP rolls out Y2K testing program

With just more than 500 days left until 2000, Hewlett-Packard is joining the movement to provide packages of hardware, software, and services for year-2000 testing with its HP9000 program to be announced next week.

HP's HP9000 year-2000 program will provide HP9000 customers using HP-UX 9.04 and earlier with a range of year-2000 preparedness tools, including free upgrades to HP-UX 10.20 and 11, depending on the depth of customers' support plans with HP.

By way of HP's Cure2000, HP and its partners provide other software, tools, training, planning, and consulting services. HP is also organising 12-month leases of testing and development systems. The financing plans include reduced licensing costs for replicated HP OSes and software used in year-2000 testing.

The HP9000 line includes the company's entire HP-UX/PA-RISC server range.

Like other vendors in the industry, HP is taking the year 2000 seriously.

"We view Y2K as a pervasive industry issue," said Karen Louie, marketing manager for HP9000.

Tom Oleson, an analyst at International Data Corporation, said HP's program is "an impressive and comprehensive approach."

Still, Oleson offered one caveat.

"I do feel it's probably a little late," Oleson said. "But better late than never."

Oleson added that although the year-2000 issue is important, its impact may be overstated.

"Companies of almost all sizes have taken [Y2K] very seriously, and most have done a good job of preparing," Oleson said.

Janice Chaffin, HP's general manger of high performance systems, said the program is not aimed at HP's larger customers, most of which are on the road to recovery in their year-2000 readiness.

"What we are seeing here is not the large enterprise customers, but customers who have fewer resources," Chaffin said. "This program is directed at them."

Elements of HP's program roll out immediately. Information about the year-2000 program is at http://www.hp.com/go/9000customer or http://www.hp.com.year2000.

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