Many PC users are used to getting free firmware updates, even after the warranty runs out. HP won't be quite so generous with its server customers in the near future, though. Starting February 19th, the company will only dish out system-level firmware updates to ProLiant server owners if they're either under warranty or have bought extra support. Those who don't qualify will still get some peripheral updates and urgent patches, but nothing else. HP contends that the move helps it invest in future upgrades, and that it isn't pushing companies into support contracts. However, customers aren't buying the claims. They note that other server makers (including Dell and IBM) aren't cutting off firmware updates, and they'll still have to go through administrative hassles just to get bug fixes for older machines. The policy won't affect those with regular PCs, but there's concern that it sets a bad precedent -- few want to pay extra just to get a computer that works as promised.