Oracle Slams HP Itanium Lawsuit as a 'Publicity Stunt'
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Oracle executives are dismissing Hewlett-Packard's lawsuit over Oracle's decision to end support for Intel's Itanium technology, calling HP's move a "publicity stunt" designed to blame the software giant for HP's misguided embrace of a faltering processor platform.
In a 15-page court filing to answer HP's lawsuit, Oracle officials contradict the accusation that they have put customers at risk in hopes of bolstering their own SPARC hardware portfolio. Instead, they said, it is HP's desperate attempts to hold on to a dying Itanium platform that is the real threat to enterprises.
"HP untenably has put itself and thousands of customers out on the end of a very long limb because HP, almost alone now, clings to a decades-old microprocessor architecture -- Intel s Itanium chip line -- that has no future," Oracle wrote in the legal brief, filed in the Superior Court of California in Santa Clara. "Intel has wanted to discontinue Itanium production for years, and HP knows it. The performance advantage over Intel s x86-based microprocessors that once justified Itanium is today effectively gone."
However, should Itanium go away, it would be a significant financial blow to HP, which has standardized its high-end Integrity and NonStop servers on the processor and generates money from its Itanium support agreements, Oracle said. HP by far is the largest consumer of Itanium chips.
"So rather than telling its customers the truth about Intel's plans for phasing out the Itanium platform, and helping those customers transition to Intel Xeon systems or other alternatives, HP perpetuates the myth that there is a long 10-year roadmap for Itanium development," Oracle wrote. "Now HP is suing Oracle for the temerity to tell customers the truth."
Oracle officials in March said they no longer would develop software for the Itanium platform, saying that in discussion Intel engineers had said the chip vendor would soon kill off the chip in favor of its x86-based Xeon portfolio. In making its decision, Oracle joined Microsoft and Red Hat, two other major software vendors that had ended Itanium support in their software.