Oracle releases HP documents: 'Make your own decision'

Summary:Oracle has released a cache of HP documents first seen during litigation, which shows just how much HP wanted to keep the ailing Itanium chip going.

Less than 24 hours after Oracle failed to get HP's lawsuit thrown out of court over the end-of-life support for Itanium chips, the company strikes back by releasing a cache of documents.

Oracle and HP continue to spar over contracts relating to Intel's Itanium chip. Oracle discontinued support for Itanium, often used in datacenters, after it claimed the heavy-duty chip was coming to the end of its life. HP wanted to continue using the chip in its high-end servers despite Intel shifting its focus on 32-bit processors.

Jeb Dasteel, Oracle's senior vice-president and chief customer officer, explained the move:

"At this time, there are many documents that have been disclosed through litigation that describe the true state of Itanium in Hewlett-Packard's own words. Rather than us interpreting this situation for you, we thought we would give you access to the public HP documents so you can make your own decision regarding your investments in Itanium technology."

The 'open letter', intended for present Itanium customers, goes on to say that Oracle is "confident that you will agree with our decision".

It's clear Oracle is turning up the heat under HP in the ongoing battle. Really, it's Oracle 'being Oracle' by dragging its opponents through the mud once again. Nevertheless, Oracle's approach is working. HP has seen its Itanium-based server sales fall.

HP paid out more than half a billion dollars to Intel to keep the chip going. Intel wanted to keep the chip going if it found a customer to do business with, but only if it had a long-standing customer. There's nothing wrong with HP shelling out for ongoing chip manufacturing, but it's the only one really using the chip in this day and age.

When Oracle said it wasn't going to support the chip any longer, it led to HP suing Oracle.

While the documents and emails have been unredacted, the details adds more meat to the bones of Oracle's argument, and shows how desperate HP was to keep Itanium in the race --- despite Intel's attempt to make a break elsewhere.

Related:

Topics: Hardware, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, Processors

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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