Hobbyist licenses for OpenVMS have been a notable option for users of the VAX, Alpha, and Integrity business servers. HP 3000 users tried for a similar license for MPE/iX, especially in the months following HP’s news it wouldn’t continue its 3000 business. HP declined to create the kind of license the users wanted to power the basement and in-garage 3000 servers they’d brought home.
With the change in ownership of OpenVMS — HP Enterprise turned over the business to VMS Software Inc. — the hobbyist program is ending at HPE. VSI is considering one option to continue hobbyist-class licenses.
That’s one hell of a bummer. I hope they can come to sort of solution or agreement.
I guess they learned the wrong lesson from how Oracle handled Solaris licensing after buying Sun. Killing the hobbyist/developer/prototyping license was in large part the first ringing of the death knell for Solaris, especially on x86. Many shops (like ours) simply started building RHEL servers since they could play/test/protoype for cheap (or free with CentOS). Eventually we couldn’t justify the cost of Solaris and migrated to RHEL for all production workloads.
Agreed. I think generally VSI is good people and they’re actively supporting commercial installations and working to port it to x86_64. The hobbyist program that DEC started, Compaq continued and HP thoroughly ignored (..there was a couple of years there where you couldn’t even renew), I think has always been a really positive thing as it gives hobbyists a way to actually experience this system, because, as it’s not linux. They have no access and this builds good will and people will actively use it. I remember a DEC comment about the hobbyist community they had back int he 90’s which went something along the lines of “.. it builds revenue five years from now and keeps us in the hearts and wallets of corporations because their people know how to solve problems with our tools because they’ve had access”.
It’s worked for me for years. 🙂
I wouldn’t even mind chipping in a 10-20$ per anum fee to help grease the wheels. I get a lot of use out of the old stuff and hope that it’ll continue to bring fresh blood to it. How many AS/400 or MPE/iX hobbyists are there out there? I’d wager considerably less than VMS people.
General comment with regards to the “commercial” fringe OS’s (not home OS’s).
Restrict availability is a great way to go from “fringe” to “niche” to “none”. Obviously there are faster ways to kill your company or company’s technology. But I guess if death is your thing….
I noticed HP dropped the word Invent form their logo. Makes perfect sense. They don’t invent anymore. They devent.
I guess you can always grab an old copy of Windows NT and play with the VMS under the hood. NT was built by people from DEC.
I don’t see how this is controversial or a cause for concern at this point. HPE no longer owns OpenVMS. It is not their product to license. They can’t legally grant licenses to a product they no longer own. The new owner of the product has indicated they are interested in continuing a similar hobbyist/student type licensing program.
This doesn’t represent a killing off of OpenVMS hobbyist licensing. It represents a transfer of ownership of OpenVMS to a new entity who will be responsible for that licensing going forward.