HP made a September 26 announcement that it will extend limited support for the HP 3000 through the end of 2010. But I did not see anything in HP's communication that shut the support door — and HP's 3000 business — completely as of Dec. 31, 2010.
HP has no plans to keep supporting 3000 customers beyond that date. But the vendor did not say that it will not, under any circumstances, end its MPE/iX support at that time.
We may be reading tea leaves here, but with two support extensions already behind us, it seemed responsible to ask if there was any chance of another. The last extension through 2008, announced at Christmas of 2005, said the company's 3000 support would run until '08 "or later." Those two words — the "or later" — are absent from the HP announcement of this week.
But there's still some possibility of support offerings, however slim — provided customers need this and can talk HP into it and the vendor can deliver what it considers "high-quality" support.
"HP does not foresee HP e3000 end-of-support dates being extended beyond 2010 and Customers should plan their migrations accordingly. Any future considerations will be a based on Customer demand and HP's ability to deliver high quality support."
There is a prospect for future considerations. Some of the reason for this possibility, however slim, is that by 2010 the system's HP support will be almost entirely in the hands of HP Services, instead of the HP 3000 group inside TCSD, the Total Customer Experience and Support Division that contains the staff of the 3000's lab.
Observers in the 3000 community, including partners, now say that HP Services is making the decisions about these support extensions. The speculation may be even more true, now that HP is turning off its patch creation lab for the 3000 in 15 months.