HP releases Oracle documents: Sun hardware a 'pig in lipstick'

Within hours of Oracle releasing a cache of HP documents seen during litigation between the two companies, HP fired back with a release of its own.

Within a few hours of Oracle cracking open a cache of HP documents first disclosed during litigation, HP fired back with a document reel of its own --- albeit in a slightly less impressive fashion.

Oracle released a dozen documents for Itanium customers to "make their own decision" on the continuing spat between the two companies. In the release, HP shelled out more than a half-billion dollars to keep Itanium going, with Intel seemingly content to do so if it still had a well-paying customer.

But HP has seen its Itanium-based server sales fall by nearly a quarter since the sparring began.

This latest move was to be expected. Oracle slings a hook of mud at HP, and HP retaliates by trying to paint Oracle as the bully in the playground.

In one of the Oracle documents, Mark Hurd, HP's then-chief executive, was told how Intel was being "aggressive" about a new Itanium chip release. This goes against Oracle's argument that Intel was preparing to sunset the heavy-duty chip.

One instant messaging conversation between Oracle sales executives describes Sun hardware as a "pig in lipstick at best".

HP had said earlier in court that when Oracle bought Sun, some senior executives thought the acquisition was a bad idea. Oracle bought Sun for $7.4 billion in 2009, which included Java and its server line-up. It seems even long after the buy-out, some were still complaining about selling the Sun servers.

Oracle discontinued support for Itanium because it was coming to the end of its support life. HP wanted to continue using the chip despite Intel wanting to make a move towards 32-bit processors. HP argued that the two companies had agreed support for Itanium would continue as per a prior settlement, and HP subsequently sued Oracle.

The two companies both sought pretrial victories in the battle, but both failed. Less than a day later, Oracle cracked open its document chest in an attempt to win over Itanium customers. HP followed with its own document release.