Itanium Battle Between HP, Oracle Heads to Court

By Channel Insider Staff  |  Print this article Print

HP is accusing Oracle of breaching a contract between the two with its decision to end support for Intel's Itanium platform.

Hewlett-Packard's rapidly disintegrating relationship with Oracle is threatening to spill over into the courtroom again, now that HP is suing the software giant over its abandonment of Intel s Itanium processor platform.

A week after HP officials sent a demand letter to Oracle essentially warning of a lawsuit over the issue, they followed through June 15 by filing suit in California, claiming Oracle breached an agreement with HP to work together for the benefit of their many mutual customers.

HP officials also reiterated their claim that Oracle's decision in March to no longer develop software that supports Itanium is nothing more than a transparent ploy to force Oracle customers to adopt its own SPARC hardware, which Oracle inherited when it bought Sun Microsystems last year. HP also aired new allegations of Oracle misdeeds.

Oracle executives had said their decision was based on conversations with Intel engineers that indicated that Intel was planning to end Itanium development to focus on its Xeon processors. In a response to the lawsuit released June 15, Oracle officials reiterated their belief that Intel is ending Itanium development, and further accused HP of knowing about these end-of-life plans.

They also said while HP asked for guaranteed Itanium support from Oracle as part of an agreement between the two companies, Oracle refused. HP's Itanium support guarantee wording was deleted from the final signed agreement, Oracle said in the statement.

The lawsuit is the latest step in what s become an increasingly bitter and personal feud between the once strong partners. Oracle s purchase of Sun including the SPARC hardware business put it in direct competition with HP in the data center. HP then forced its CEO, Mark Hurd, to resign, only to be publically ridiculed by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who a month later hired Hurd as president. HP replaced Hurd with Leo Apotheker, the former CEO of Oracle software rival SAP, which also has its legal entanglements with Oracle.

To read the original eWeek article, click here: HP, Oracle Itanium Fight Heads to Court