HP and Oracle Clash over Intel Itanium

Once friends, now foes—Hewlett Packard and Oracle have ended their alliance over a chip dispute.

Yesterday, HP filed a lawsuit with a “formal legal demand” letter to force Oracle (the No. 3 software maker) to reverse its decision to discontinue software development on Intel Itanium microprocessor, according to Reuters.

Referring to the response letter, HP’s chief spokesman Bill Wohl said, “The silence from Oracle is deafening. We are very disappointed it has to come to this.”
Oracle’s only response came through a statement denying allegations that the company breached an agreement to maintain Itanium, calling HP’s lawsuit “utterly malicious and meritless.”

The roots of this latest development came to fruition when Oracle made the decision last March to discontinue its support for Intel’s heavy-duty computing microprocessor, Itanium.  The company said it was moving in a different direction after Intel made it clear the chip was nearing the end of its life and turning its focus to its x86 microprocessor. 

However, HP has deemed this as “anti-customer” behavior.

The companies have had an ongoing partnership for the last 30 years and share about 140,000 customers.  The tension began when Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems to leverage its position in the server market, where the company had formally collaborated with HP.

Preceding the lawsuit, there was some friction when a former HP exec was hired by Oracle, leading to a conflict over trade secrets that also landed in court, but was soon settled. Other drama over hiring-politics had ensued before when a former SAP executive was hired by HP, over which Oracle threw choice words of an alleged “industrial espionage scheme” by the executive while still at SAP.

The latest lawsuit, centered on Intel’s Itanium microprocessor, said, “In a mere eight months, Oracle has gone from arm-in-arm partnership with Hewlett-Packard to bitter antagonist.”

Over those 140,000 customers shared by the two companies, Hamilton Rentals is one of them.  Contact us to learn more about their products in our server rental line.


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