HP to phase out e3000 server series

Hewlett-Packard Co.'s (HP's) e3000 server series is being phased out and will be discontinued in late 2003, the company said Wednesday. Slumping sales and decreased interest from outside developers, along with an increasing industry emphasis on open-standard systems, prompted the e3000 series' demise, HP said in a statement.

HP will continue selling certain e3000 servers until Nov. 1, 2003, and will maintain support services for the servers until Jan. 1, 2007, the company said. Trade-in credits and discounts toward the purchase of HP servers running HP-UX, Microsoft Corp. Windows or Linux will be offered, and A- and N-class customers will receive free conversion kits and unlimited HP-UX user licenses, HP said. The company also is working with e3000 application vendors to transition their applications and customers to other HP systems, and with third-party tools and middleware developers on migration applications and services.

The e3000 series carries on HP's 3000 server line, launched in 1972. HP 3000 servers run on a proprietary operating system, MPE (Multi-Programming Executive); current e3000 servers use MPE/iX.

In recent years, customers have demonstrated "a clear preference for solutions based on low-cost, open platforms," according to a question-and-answer section at the HP Web site. That preference has meant HP could no longer generate enough profit from the e3000 line to maintain the level of investment needed to keep MPE/iX current, the Web site said. The decision to discontinue the e3000 line is unrelated to HP's planned merger with Compaq Computer Corp., HP said.

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