HP will now limit firmware updates to Enterprise customers under warranty

HP servers could prove be costly to maintain under the new plans.

In an unprecedented move by the company, HP will only provide firmware updates to Enterprise customers that are under warranty after February 19.

In a press release, Vice President Mary McCoy announced firmware updates through the HP support centre will only be available to customers with a valid warranty, Care Pack Service or support agreement. The move could see customers forking out hundreds or even thousands on Care Pack Services, which provide hardware and software support, as well as services, to receive the latest updates for their devices.

McCoy says while the move is a change from the past, it will place the company in line with the best practices in the industry.             

“We know this is a change from how we’ve done business in the past; however, this aligns with industry best practices and is the right decision for our customers and partners."

The company Vice President says customers are given first priority because they are given a choice to pay for additional upgrades. 

Firmware is the read-only programming that is embedded into hardware. Firmware updates can be used to add functions, fix bugs, enhance security or simply improve performance of the device. Network devices such as routers and servers often receive firmware updates to ensure users are gaining optimal performance.

Existing customers are advised to update their laptops, servers, tablets and other HP devices by the February 19.

Source: HP | Image via Tom's Hardware

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Industry best practice? No. Cisco inflated profit margins best practice me thinks.

Got a Cisco device with buggy firmware and no support contract? Time to buy a new one

Damn.. HP is retarded. There is absolutely no reason to not freely update software/firmware. They're literally trying to tie hardware life to warranty with this, in hopes of people being forced to pay for new hardware or warranty services..

One thing is, my laptop is new, but out of warranty (had 1 year only).. now they are going to stop providing BIOS updates and driver updates? Wtf?


Capy said,
Thank you, HP. I was just about to buy a new MicroServer Gen8 so the news are very on time.

I bought mine and Im waiting to exchange it. Im actually thinking about getting a refund for it because HP has been such a ******* to me and now this move.

riahc3 said,
I bought mine and Im waiting to exchange it. Im actually thinking about getting a refund
Hope you'll make it. Fingers crossed

From what I understand it's just for servers - however, I checked with HP support and this *does* include the Microserver lines, which are essentially home/consumer/SMB products.

Well that sucks. I recently had to do a BIOS flash for my N36L to get windows 8.1 running on it. HP released new firmware for it around November. Product is well out of warranty too. Will be interesting to see if the fw is pulled from the website. It's still up there currently.

The Microserver lines are dead (EOL'd with the death of Windows Home Server 2011 - this was, in fact, a Spotlight article here on Neowin); what is the likelihood that HP will continue to create firmware upgrades for non-enterprise EOL'd hardware?


Brian M. said,
From what I understand it's just for servers - however, I checked with HP support and this *does* include the Microserver lines, which are essentially home/consumer/SMB products.

Correct, this includes the Microservers as I clearly have a advisory each time I open the support page.

The Microserver lines are dead

? The Gen8 was released shortly and is not EOL at all...

"industry best practices" has got to be one of the dumbest terms ever invented. I wish pain on the person who coined it. It is used SO much and it is so beyond stupid. You'd be hard pressed to find a bigger corporate "buzz word".

Yet, another reason to stay away from HP! They release substandard products to consumers and then force them to pay money to make them average.

They might as well come out and say exactly what this precisely means:

"Your HP device has a limited lifespan that lasts as long as the warranty does. Once the warranty is expired, so does any potential support for your device unless you purchase an extended warranty for said device. If an extended warranty isn't an option, HP strongly recommends donating the device to some charitable organization for a tax credit and then purchasing an entirely new device when your device warranty expires."

I mean really, that's precisely what's being said here and everyone knows it (at least those that can read between the lines to see what the real message is).

This IS forced obsolescence, right in our faces.

I've never purchased anything brand new from HP, always used, typically off-lease so warranties were never a consideration anyway, but since I only purchase new Dell business class hardware for myself - which comes with 3 years onsite warranty service anyway - I'm good to go.

Too bad, HP, you lost a customer you never had in the first place.

Meanwhile, in the real IT world of SMBs and enterprise...

We're not really worried, it's more of an inconvenience. Now I'm going to have to create an account to download SPPs. Big whoop. Where I work all HP servers are used for 7 years and are under Care Pack for entire time in case hard disks die (they do all the time in RAIDs), other hardware issues, 24/7 support, etc. They've practically paid for themselves since SAS disks are $450 a pop. I doubt there's too many SMB or enterprise customers who *don't* spring for HP warranty past the default 3 years. That would be pretty stupid to have $thousands (or tens of thousands) of equipment in production without an active support contract.

Point taken that this may only be with respect to HP ProLiant Servers -- the Blog article doesn't seem to explicitly say that but the FAQ goes to a document on the servers only.

That being said, this is pretty dumb. HP used to be one of my favorite companies, with great engineering and standout products. These days, it seems that all they can do is come out with mediocre, crappy plastic junk at slightly premium prices and find new ways to irritate their customers.

After deployment, most customers are reluctant to install firmware updates on production equipment unless they have to in order to resolve a specific issue. But the PR side of it is terrible. Plus, how is this "industry best practices" and "the right decision for our customers and partners" other than to get customers to pay HP and their partners for support?

Other than laser printers, I haven't bought an HP product in ages now, and this hardly moves the needle in a positive direction for me.

I will make sure I never buy or recommend anything HP again. The only reason we have firmware updates is because someone f****d s**t up in the first place. It's not like they're giving out enhancements to their products.

WOW...even more bad news for Windows.

HP always makes good computers. In the past, I have bought several. Two of the laptop that I have bought for my business ran on AMD processors and they lasted for 5 years, which is ok because I bought them cheap. The other one, Intel processors, are still running since 2004, where one is a Pentium 4. To this day, this still run strongly.

This move by HP does not effect me or my business so much, since I have been able to transition my operations to the cloud. Because I have had very good success with HP products, when my computers finally go "Kaput", I may give the the HP Chromebooks a shot. After all, I wouldn't have to worry about MS licenses anymore, nor would I care about HP firmware updates, or if an actual computer goes down. If that ever happened, I would just go buy another and in less than 5 minutes, I am

I understand that not all business are as fortunate as I am when it comes to operational simplicity, but for the average consumer.....this is heaven,


Neowin's members reading level is very low.

It is stated not only in the article but by a few members that this does NOT AFFECT CONSUMER PRODUCTS. Only small business and above.

The ProLiant servers are intended for small businesses not for consumers.

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