HP Announces CD Now Program for Server and Workstation Software Delivery

HP Cuts Prices on CD-ROMs; Users to Realize Lower Costs

Easier Installation and Updates and Improved Access to Software and Services

PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 1, 1994--Demonstrating its commitment to improving and simplifying customer order-fulfillment and support procedures, Hewlett-Packard Company today announced it will migrate to the CD-ROM medium for software delivery to HP 9000 customers during the next three years. This program, CD Now, is part of a companywide initiative to improve customer access to HP products and services, and is the next step in HP's ongoing media strategy.

The three-year plan is designed to give HP workstation and business server customers and HP Channel Partners time to plan a smooth transition to CD-ROM. Currently, HP customers can order the HP-UX(1) operating system and other HP software on CD-ROM or digital audio tape (DAT). After the program is complete, HP will offer DAT only on special request.

Shifting to CD-ROM is the latest step in HP's overall media strategy of improving distribution methods and reducing costs. In 1987, HP was the first major vendor to offer shared documentation on CD-ROM, and in 1989 it was the first to offer all software on a single CD-ROM disk set.

By encouraging customers to switch to the less expensive CD-ROM format, HP is helping customers offset the increasing amount of corporate budgets being spent on software. According to the Gartner Group, a market-research firm based in Stamford, Conn., software distribution and administration expenses often account for one-third of a company's overall software cost of ownership.

As an added incentive for HP 9000 customers to switch to CD-ROM, HP is reducing its HP 9000 CD-ROM drive prices by 20 percent to 30 percent, effective Nov. 1, and reducing its CD-ROM media prices by up to 17 percent. HP also will bundle CD-ROM drives into selected future servers.

"CD-ROM is widely accepted today by corporations seeking to expedite and simplify software delivery and upgrade processes because it is a more cost-effective, compact, robust and reliable medium than tape," said Richard S. Love, HP vice president and general manager of Computer Systems Organization order fulfillment and manufacturing. "While HP has offered software on CD-ROM since 1989, we have not standardized on it until now because too few of our customers had access to CD-ROM technology. With CD-ROM prices dropping rapidly, this medium is clearly the transfer technology of choice."


HP 9000 customers can purchase a CD set containing nearly all HP software, including HP-UX, CASE tools, networking, system-administration and database software for less than the price of HP-UX alone on DAT. When media-update costs are factored in with initial purchase prices, HP's CD-ROM-based software can save between $1,000 to $2,000 per system over three years.

In addition to cost savings, HP's CD Now program will result in faster, simpler software delivery, since customers no longer have to order product tapes separately. CD-ROM also provides easier installation and system administration, since CD-ROM offers quicker software installation than tape and special functions, such as documentation keyword searches.

With its CD-ROM media, HP frequently provides complementary software bundled on CD-ROM, such as Macintosh Application Environment emulation software and PowerOn CDs, and users gain access to CD-based information services, such as CD Publishing Corp., InterNIC, Knowledge Media and Walnut Creek Software.


Market-research firm Dataquest projects that 1994 worldwide shipments of CD-ROM drives will reach 17.5 million, compared with 9.6 million in the past five years combined. Independent market research commissioned by HP has shown that 86 percent of HP's current HP 9000 tape customers are willing to switch to CD-ROM.

The CD-ROM medium offers many advantages over tape. CD-ROM is a more compact medium than DAT, requiring less shelf space than tapes and paper. It also is a more reliable medium, does not degrade with use and can be produced in volume quickly.


Effective Nov. 1, HP is reducing all HP 9000 CD-ROM media prices. For example, the CD-ROM media price for HP-UX 9.04 and associated software products for the Series 800 will be reduced from $630 to $520, and the price for Series 700 HP-UX 9.0 documentation on CD-ROM will be reduced from $835 to $695.

Effective Nov. 1, HP also is reducing prices of CD-ROM drives by 20 percent to 30 percent to $655 (internal drives) and $875 (external drives), and will increase the price of selected DAT media and paper documentation 10 percent to 30 percent.

Nearly all of HP's software is available on CD-ROM today, including all of HP's most popular software products. HP also plans to simplify its HP 9000 code-word process for unlocking product binaries from the CD-ROM disk set as part of the CD Now program. Actual migration of specific products to CD-ROM are scheduled to begin in November 1995. Overall migration to CD-ROM for the HP 9000, including support updates, is expected to be completed by November 1997.

A similar program is planned for HP 3000 customers, providing the same benefits of lower cost and ease-of-use as the HP 9000 program. Actual migration of specific HP 3000 software is scheduled to begin in early 1996. Additional HP 3000 implementation details are expected to be available in December.

HP is the second-largest computer supplier in the United States, with computer-related revenue of $15.6 billion in its 1993 fiscal year.

Hewlett-Packard Company is an international manufacturer of measurement and computation products and systems recognized for excellence in quality and support. The company's products and services are used in industry, business, engineering, science, medicine and education in approximately 110 countries. HP has 97,900 employees and had revenue of $20.3 billion in its 1993 fiscal year.

Note to Editors: (1) HP-UX is based on and is compatible with Novell's UNIX(R) operating system. It also complies with X/Open's(tm) XPG4, POSIX 1003.1, 1003.2, FIPS 151-1 and SVID2 interface specifications. UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries, licensed exclusively through X/Open Company Limited. X/Open is a trademark of X/Open Company Limited in the UK and other countries.