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New HP program distributes software on compact disc.

New HP Program Distributes Software On Compact Disc

Hewlett-Packard (HP) Company recently announced HP Laser-RELEASE, a new program for distributing operating system and subsystem software for the HP 3000 business computers.

HP LaserRELEASE uses compact discs (CD-ROM) instead of magnetic tape as the software-distribution media.

While conventional magnetic tape serves as a dependable vehicle to transport software, HP Laser-RELEASE offers benefits that transcend the movement of software from Point A to Point B. HP LaserRELEASE expedites software distribution, simplifies the installation process and lowers the customer's cost.

The HP LaserRELEASE program for the HP 3000 MPE/V systems includes a new software-installation tool, a new HP-IB (IEEE-488) CDROM drive and software that resides on a CD. HP believes the program, which includes a disc with more than 100 MPE/V software products and the entire operating system, is the first to distribute a complete set of system software on a CD-ROM disc.

"HP LaserRELEASE will lower the cost associated with software distribution," said Marc Hoff, general manager for HP's Application Support Division. "The program allows customers to immediately receive direct benefits in the form of reduced support costs for systems configured for CD-ROM-based updates. These savings reduce the media update cost to an average of 30 percent for those customers migrating to CD-ROM."

In addition to the support-cost savings, HP LaserRELEASE improves performance throughout the update process.

"Unlike the conventional update program, HP LaserRELEASE enables users to continue accessing their system while performing the most time-consuming operations involved with the update process," said Hoff. "In addition, HP LaserRELEASE reduces the error rate during the physical installation."

From the customer's standpoint, the CD-ROM media also provides an advantage over tape. While tape can require large amounts of storage space and environmental conditioning, a CD-ROM requires up to 80 percent less storage space and does not require a special environment.

In addition, HP believes that it is the first company to offer a CD-ROM drive with designed-in capabilities for software distribution. Designed and manufactured at HP's facility in Greeley, Colo., the HP-IB CD-ROM drive connects directly to an HP 3000 business computer (via an HP-IB interface). The peripheral includes firmware that works with the installation program to decrypt the customers software.

"The drive establishes a platform for distributing all types of software on CD-ROM," said Hoff. "The 600-Mbyte storage capacity of a CD-ROM, combined with the built-in decryption capability, presents many possibilities for the future."

HP expects the distribution of software on CD-ROMs to expedite the software-manufacturing process, which in turn places the software update in the customer's hands in less time. Furthermore, the use of CD-ROM technology reduces the cost of software distribution and this savings can be passed onto the customer.

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Title Annotation:CD-ROM Today; Hewlett-Packard's HP LaserRELEASE
Publication:Information Today
Date:Oct 1, 1989
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