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Oracle Accuses HP of Paying Intel to Keep Itanium on Life Support

By - Source: All Things D | B 48 comments

All Things Digital Got its hands on a document filed by Oracle against HP in an ongoing argument over Oracle's decision not to support Intel's Itanium processor anymore.

In this filing, Oracle claims that Intel's Itanium processor is virtually dead and only on artificial life support as HP is paying Intel a substantial amount of money to support the perception that the Itanium processor is an actively developed product.

In its filing, Oracle alleges that HP's interest in the survival of Itanium are service contracts for HP-UX that is running on Itanium systems. Losing Oracle as a software vendor that is delivering software for Itanium could contribute to customer decisions to migrate to different platforms. "This is a multi-billion dollar problem for HP," the document states. What makes this claim especially interesting is the fact that Oracle's co-president, Mark Hurd, was HP's CEO until August 2010 and has detailed knowledge of HP's operations.

"These factors led HP to craft a top-secret plan to create a false perception that Itanium still had a future," Oracle states in the document published by All Things Digital. "HP understands that the future prospects of IT products drive customer purchasing decisions. A buyer who knew that Intel saw no future for Itanium, and was only continuing to invest in the line pursuant to a contractual obligation, would devalue the future prospects of Itanium servers and be less inclined to buy."

HP, however, continues to claim that Oracle's move to drop Itanium support was solely designed to force its customers into buying Sun servers. "This filing is just the latest in its ongoing campaign to shore up its failing Sun server business and starve thousands of existing Itanium customers who rely on their Itanium processors for mission-critical activities." HP said. "As Oracle well knows, HP and Intel have a contractual commitment to continue to sell mission-critical Itanium processers to our customers through the next two generations of microprocessors, thus ensuring the availability of Itanium through at least the end of the decade. HP is resolved to enforcing Oracle’s commitments to HP and our shared customers and will continue to take actions to protect its customers’ best interests. It is time for Oracle to quit pursuing baseless accusations and honor its commitments to HP and to our shared customers in a timely manner."

Intel declined to comment on the allegations.

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  • 10 Hide
    hoof_hearted , November 21, 2011 6:23 PM
    Being the open-source proponent that I am, I am losing trust for Oracle more and more. Looking at how they are handling Java, MySQL, Harmony and using it similar to how Apple handles business (patent fodder), I see them more about "business" than technical excellence.
  • 10 Hide
    wiinippongamer , November 21, 2011 7:11 PM
    lenell86^^ Christ, a bunch of illiterate users that probably have never played with a server, commenting on an article for itanium servers...all of you users that commented should stay out of articles like these and stick to "AMD PHENOM IS BETTER THAN BULLDOZER ZOMG" consumer articles. Don't infest your idiocracy to the more advanced articles, let the pros comment on these, ok? JESUS



    Wow yea you sure look pro writing insult comments on a forum. Remember when people are real pros they dont mention it or brag about it like you.... makes ne wonder if you're not yet another troll.
Other Comments
  • -4 Hide
    tului , November 21, 2011 5:19 PM
    @sinfulpotato I think they threw the towel in for the desktop back then but kept on trying to make it succeed in the server space for a bit longer. I'm really hoping between Sparc and ARM they put massive pressure on Intel and really drive out some innovation in the next 20 years or so.
  • 0 Hide
    turbotong , November 21, 2011 5:44 PM
    Wow, this is going to get tricky real fast. Especially if Mark Hurd is involved. I'm pretty sure some part of his previous settlement with HP involved not giving away company secrets like that (if true).
  • -4 Hide
    lenell86 , November 21, 2011 5:48 PM
    ^^ Christ, a bunch of illiterate users that probably have never played with a server, commenting on an article for itanium servers...all of you users that commented should stay out of articles like these and stick to "AMD PHENOM IS BETTER THAN BULLDOZER ZOMG" consumer articles. Don't infest your idiocracy to the more advanced articles, let the pros comment on these, ok? JESUS
  • 2 Hide
    sinfulpotato , November 21, 2011 5:48 PM
    Considering the moment the Opteron was released IA-64 never stood a chance. The game was already over, Intel was forced to use x86-64 with the Xeon.
  • 7 Hide
    robwright , November 21, 2011 6:04 PM
    The best part is, Oracle accused HP of pulling a "Weekend At Bernie's" with Itanium in its court filings. True story.
  • 1 Hide
    hetneo , November 21, 2011 6:14 PM
    lenell86^^ Christ, a bunch of illiterate users that probably have never played with a server, commenting on an article for itanium servers...all of you users that commented should stay out of articles like these and stick to "AMD PHENOM IS BETTER THAN BULLDOZER ZOMG" consumer articles. Don't infest your idiocracy to the more advanced articles, let the pros comment on these, ok? JESUS

    Ditto.
  • -5 Hide
    bfstev , November 21, 2011 6:15 PM
    Im not sure mark hurd's non-compete/ non-disclosure agreement with HP bares him from revealing CRIMINAL activity such as the fraud they are accusing them of. While it may give them grounds to sue, they arent going to want the justice department getting ahold of the documents used in discovery if they did do this.
  • 2 Hide
    campb292 , November 21, 2011 6:16 PM
    HP allegedly pays Intel to keep Itanium alive. So, what? Oracle has had a nice steady climb in value since the early 2000's. Perhaps they are feeling their valuation is overstated and need to seek court help to put down the better competition?
  • 10 Hide
    hoof_hearted , November 21, 2011 6:23 PM
    Being the open-source proponent that I am, I am losing trust for Oracle more and more. Looking at how they are handling Java, MySQL, Harmony and using it similar to how Apple handles business (patent fodder), I see them more about "business" than technical excellence.
  • -6 Hide
    techguy378 , November 21, 2011 6:23 PM
    If there's going to be a replacement instruction set for x86 it won't be EPIC. ARM is the future.
  • 0 Hide
    cookoy , November 21, 2011 6:31 PM
    if there is a contractual obligation then the parties involved have to fulfill the terms as agreed upon. However with such a high profile case, doubt if any new customers would take the Itanium route. Only the existing customers will be served until the contract expires and everybody goes their separate ways.
  • 10 Hide
    wiinippongamer , November 21, 2011 7:11 PM
    lenell86^^ Christ, a bunch of illiterate users that probably have never played with a server, commenting on an article for itanium servers...all of you users that commented should stay out of articles like these and stick to "AMD PHENOM IS BETTER THAN BULLDOZER ZOMG" consumer articles. Don't infest your idiocracy to the more advanced articles, let the pros comment on these, ok? JESUS



    Wow yea you sure look pro writing insult comments on a forum. Remember when people are real pros they dont mention it or brag about it like you.... makes ne wonder if you're not yet another troll.
  • 3 Hide
    bobusboy , November 21, 2011 7:22 PM
    lenell86^^ Christ, a bunch of illiterate users that probably have never played with a server, commenting on an article for itanium servers...all of you users that commented should stay out of articles like these and stick to "AMD PHENOM IS BETTER THAN BULLDOZER ZOMG" consumer articles. Don't infest your idiocracy to the more advanced articles, let the pros comment on these, ok? JESUS


    Oh great IT gods! Please hear our cry and enlighten us with your knowledge of the Arcane Itanium..

    STFU, either say something relevant to the article or bugger off lambasting posters due to their ignorance is just makes you look like an ass.

    on topic; was the document filed an anti-trust suit or what? Maybe I missed it in the article but what are the potential ramifications of this suit.
  • 9 Hide
    robwright , November 21, 2011 7:48 PM
    Jeez, why'd i get three thumbs down on that post? It wasn't a joke -- Oracle really did cite "Weekend At Bernie's" in its court filing:

    http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2011/11/19/oracle-says-h-p-and-intel-secretly-propped-up-dead-chip/?mod=google_news_blog
  • 0 Hide
    DXRick , November 21, 2011 8:03 PM
    Kind of lame to call others illiterates without offering any insights of your own.

    Being one of those illiterates, I read through Wiki-Itanium. Near the bottom under Timeline, I found it:

  • March: Oracle Corporation announces that it will stop developing application software, middleware, and Oracle Linux for the Itanium.
  • March: Intel and HP reiterate their support of Itanium.

    I can almost visualize the Oracle execs' reaction.
  • -1 Hide
    sykozis , November 21, 2011 8:33 PM
    turbotongWow, this is going to get tricky real fast. Especially if Mark Hurd is involved. I'm pretty sure some part of his previous settlement with HP involved not giving away company secrets like that (if true).

    Criminal acts aren't protected by non-disclosure agreements or no-compete agreements. If HP is in fact paying Intel to keep Itanium alive in an effort to force Oracle to continue developing for Itanium based systems, neither a non-disclosure agreement nor a no-compete agreement would legally prevent Mark Hurd from talking. Now, if HP is paying Intel strictly for their own gains....it's a different story and HP will eventually have to prove it and could possibly take legal action against Mark Hurd as a result.

    sinfulpotatoWasn't it obvious that the towel was thrown in when AMD made x86-64 back in the early 2000's?

    x86-64 has nothing to do with Intel killing off Itanium. Clock for Clock, Itanium outperforms the Opteron processors. What actually hurt the Itanium processor was it's initial inability to execute 32bit code, which was corrected with the Itanium2. Most companies that were likely to buy into the Itanium processors, chose to go the route of the Xeon and Opteron due to native 32bit support.
  • 0 Hide
    Draven35 , November 21, 2011 9:03 PM
    Sure they are 'paying' Intel to keep Itanium alive. They are buying the CPUs and that is keeping itanium alive.

    Even if they were paying Intel to keep making them, above and beyond the price tag on these things, what exactly about that is criminal?
  • -4 Hide
    beayn , November 21, 2011 9:39 PM
    Draven35Sure they are 'paying' Intel to keep Itanium alive. They are buying the CPUs and that is keeping itanium alive.Even if they were paying Intel to keep making them, above and beyond the price tag on these things, what exactly about that is criminal?


    It's a crime because it impacts the sale of Sun servers...
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