HP has changed his way of doing business with their products. It is trying every possibility to get the business and to give the competition to other tools.
Jmeter, Neoload and some of the top tools are also giving a huge competition to the HP Loadrunner. HP is also rapidly upgrading the Loadrunner to meet the latest technology upgrades and the competition.
HP has come up with Loadrunner 12 community edition, where you will get 50 Vusers license to performance test your application. You can test your app on any protocol with the 50 Vusers. This helps you a lot before finalizing in buying the license of Loadrunner. Sometimes we buy the license and get to know that we can't do the performance testing with the Loadrunner where this will become the hectic.
Here is another good news now, you can purchase the vusers license with your credit card or PayPal, which was not there earlier. HP has come up with a website called pronq.com where we can buy the licenses easily.
By the way which tool you prefer for performance testing of an application? Loadrunner, Jmeter, Neoload, IBM Rational......etc.