It seems 3Com has silently vanished from the desktop networking scene. I had a flashback into the past as I dug out some old 10/100 3Com NICs. I wanted to install them into my server so I could test out a virtual router but couldn’t find Windows 2008 drivers for them at all.

3Com 595 and 905B NICs.

3Com 595 and 905B NICs.

In the end, I installed an Intel NIC and it worked perfectly off default drivers found in Windows 2008.

3Com made pretty decent hardware back in the late 90s – I still have some SuperStack switches and an OfficeConnect hub lying around. These stuff seem to work forever.

I was quite surprised because 3Com used to be the choice for desktop networking until sometime in 2000 when things started to change – they exited the enterprise market and focused on the then-popular Palm brand. On July 31st 2000, 3Com’s share fell sharply after it spun off Palm. Later that year, their Chief Executive quit.

In 2003, 3Com went into a joint venture with Huawei, now known as H3C.

Oddly after checking 3Com’s website, they are back in the enterprise market again, but things will never be the same.