HP confirms death of OpenMail

HP moves away from desktop, leaving mail market to Microsoft and Lotus

Hewlett Packard will discontinue OpenMail messaging after version 7, in a wider move away from end-user applications

Hewlett-Packard has confirmed that it will discontinue its OpenMail messaging product line after version 7, which the company said will be released this month.

The decision is part of a wider strategy to stop producing software aimed at end-users, according to a company spokeswoman.

"Since HP is no longer focussing on developing end-user applications we have notified OpenMail customers that version 7.0 will be the last major release of HP OpenMail," said the spokeswoman. "HP will continue to provide full support to customers for version 6 and 7 for the next five years".

The confirmation comes after one of those customers leaked HP's memo to the press this week. The spokeswoman was unable to confirm when HP had planned to make a public announcement about the discontinuation.

The move follows the announcement by HP's chief executive Carly Fiorina last month of a revamped software strategy, consolidating 25 products into two main packages, in an attempt to raise the profile of its £1.4bn-a-year software business.

The strategy saw HP, which created a standalone software group 14 months ago, condense its software families into two main packages: HP Openview software, used to manage and monitor the health of businesses' computer systems, and its new Netaction e-business infrastructure software.

Netaction includes Bluestone's application server, software that handles e-business transactions between a user's Web browser and a company's back-end database. It also includes E-speak, which allows businesses to build Web services.

"OpenMail is an application for end-users and as such is neither part of the Netaction nor OpenView product families," said the spokeswoman.

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