Oracle releases HP documents: 'Make your own decision'

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.


Topics: Hardware, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, Processors

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  • Isn't it the contracts that count?

    Who cares if the current Itanimum customers agree with Oracle's decision in the matter. The question is simply one of whether Oracle is adhering to the terms of the contract or not. Public opinion is irrelevant.
    • The "contract" was a settlement agreement

      The "contract" that HP purports that Oracle will continue to support the dead itanium platform was about Mark Hurd leaving HP for Oracle. It amounts to a custody battle about Hurd, and not -- as HP contents -- about itanium at all.
      Your Non Advocate
    • Yes, there is no "contract"

      HP is trying to twist the Hurd press release (basically a public hug saying that HP and Oracle would continue working together) into a development contract... presumably until the end of time. It is weak on HP's part.
  • Why should Oracle continue to support a dead platform?

    HP is being a bit disingenous. They continued to develop the itanium line long past its useful life and are crying foul when software houses do not want to support it.
    Your Non Advocate
  • See Page 69

    This is the smoking gun e-mail. Page 69 is HP's GM of BCS telling Intel that they need to go along with HP's line that Intel told Oracle nothing about Itanium's end of life. Intel wanted to strip the "at no time communicated to Oracle that Itanium is at end of life" language from HP's press release (presumably because they did tell Oracle that Itanium was at end of life). HP's GM is pseudo threatening Intel if they do not go along... "I don't view this as optional."