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Mar 23 2011   7:58PM GMT

Oracle, HP spatting again

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

Okay, someone’s gonna have to separate these two.

Oracle and Hewlett-Packard are at it again and this act is starting to wear thin.

The latest round of bickering kicked off late yesterday when Oracle told the world it would stop developing software for the Itanium processor.

As has become it’s custom, Oracle laced its own news by purporting to announce another company’s strategy. The reason Oracle was acting was because Intel itself was no longer committed to Itanium. At least according to Oracle.

“After multiple conversations with Intel senior management Oracle has decided to discontinue all software development on the Intel Itanium microprocessor. Intel management made it clear that their strategic focus is on their x86 microprocessor and that Itanium was nearing the end of its life.

For affected Oracle software look here. Note that according to this list, Oracle’s much-touted Fusion applications were never intended to run on Itanium.

Like clockwork, HP and Intel –the two biggest backers of the powerful but lightly-selling Itanium howled foul.

In a blog post, Intel CEO Paul Otellini said the company’s work on “Intel Itanium processors and platforms continues unabated with multiple generations of chips currently in development and on schedule…“We remain firmly committed to delivering a competitive, multi-generational road map for HP-UX and other operating system customers that run the Itanium architecture.” 

 HP executive vice president Dave Donatelli characterized Oracle’s move as just another slap in the face of its customers.

“Oracle continues to show a pattern of anti-customer behavior as they move to shore up their failing Sun server business,”  he said. 

Some analysts weighed in on HP’s side, while acknowledging that Itanium market share is not huge. IDC’s Matt Eastwood told SearchDataCenter.com that Oracle’s action flies in the face of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison’s pledge to work with HP to support their joint customers.

It’s hard to look at Oracle’s Itanium moratorium as anything other than a slap at HP, with which it has been feuding for months. HP probably holds 80% market share of all Itanium-based systems, Eastwood said.

In the long run, IBM may be the ultimate beneficiary of this move as many see it has having the best non X86 portfolio, he noted.

 

**UPDATE**
“Oracle PR sent out the following statement Wednesday evening:

“When Oracle announced it was stopping development of software for the Itanium microprocessor, HP Executive VP in charge of HP’s enterprise hardware business David Donatelli responded by saying, ‘Oracle would put enterprises and governments at risk while costing them hundreds of millions of dollars in lost productivity’.  Just the opposite is true.  Oracle has an obligation to give our customers adequate advanced notice when Oracle discontinues development on any software product or hardware platform so our customers have the information they need to plan and manage their businesses. HP is well aware that Intel’s future direction is focused on X86 and that plans to replace Itanium with X86 are already in place.  HP is knowingly withholding this information from our joint Itanium customers.  While new versions of Oracle software will not run on Itanium, we will support existing Oracle/Itanium customers on existing Oracle products.  In fact, Oracle is the last of the major software companies to stop development on Itanium.”

 

 So there.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Barbara Darrow, Senior News Director at bdarrow@techtarget.com.

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