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HP (NYSE:HPQ)  is ramping
up its battle to get Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL)  to continue to support Intel’s (NASDAQ:INTC) Itanium
chip and platform, sending “a formal legal demand” to the database and
enterprise software giant this week.

HP did not release the letter publicly but a spokesman said
in a statement “This morning we took a significant step by sending a formal
legal demand. We are going to take whatever means are necessary to get Oracle
to meet the legal commitments they have made to support HP platforms.”

Oracle announced in March that it would discontinue support
for Itanium, saying that extensive talks with Intel had indicated that the chip
was headed toward end of life.  HP immediately criticized Oracle’s move.

The relationship between HP and Oracle had already been
strained after Oracle CEO Larry Ellison loudly criticized HP’s board for firing
former HP CEO Mark Hurd following a sexual harassment lawsuit. Oracle then
hired Hurd as co-president of Oracle. Ellison also criticized HP’s hiring of
ex-SAP CEO Leo Apotheker to replace Hurd.

Intel has said it remains committed to the Intanium