it is certainly a sore spot with the tech support group at my shop… but not a reason to move away from iSeries… It is a good excuse to purchase higher Int CPU processors (or the Enterprise editions) as it is quite difficult to estimate the growth potential for some of our distributed sites… and it is a major cost and inconvenience (and source of embarassment) if we have to upgrade an interactive feature one or two years after we just installed new hardware. We try to get our systems to last at least three years and hope that some of them can last for five.
About the only thing wrong with it is that IBM should have marketed it in the opposite way. Sell base systems with full interactive; and allow specifying feature codes that reduce interactive capability along with price discounts. Then no one could complain about “tax” when it would obviously be a discount. Same technical result but different perspective.
Interactive support has a cost. If full support is to be continued while simultaneously adding new capabilities in other areas, then the cost has to go elsewhere. Since few will want to pay for those new capabilities, the System i will simply stop evolving. It will truly become ‘legacy’.