Oracle accuses HP and Intel of secretly keeping dead Itanium chip alive

Oracle filed court documents late last week contending that Hewlett-Packard and Intel have secretly been keeping the unpopular Itanium server chip alive, even though no one wants to buy it.

“HP has secretly contracted with Intel to keep churning out Itaniums so that HP can maintain the appearance that a dead microprocessor is still alive,” according to a filing obtained by All Things D. “The whole thing is a remake of Weekend at Bernie’s,” the filing states.

Oracle and HP have been in a contentious legal battle since June, when HP sued Oracle for ending software support for the Intel Itanium chip. HP is the only major vendor that sells servers with the Itanium chip, but the most popular servers (and software for those servers) run on Intel’s x86-based chips.

HP claims Oracle ended its Itanium support because Oracle acquired Sun Micrososystems and its server business, which use the x86-based chips. HP also has suggested that Oracle wants to convince current and potential Itanium server customers that they should only be interested in x86 servers.

Intel said in a statement, “We are not a party in this litigation and will not comment on litigation where we are not a party. And, we never comment on confidential agreements between us and other companies.”

And HP’s response to the filing reads:

This filing is just the latest in [Oracle's] ongoing campaign to shore up its failing Sun server business and starve thousands of existing Itanium customers who rely on their Itanium processors for mission-critical activities.

As Oracle well knows, HP and Intel have a contractual commitment to continue to sell mission-critical Itanium processers to our customers through the next two generations of microprocessors, thus ensuring the availability of Itanium through at least the end of the decade. HP is resolved to enforcing Oracle’s commitments to HP and our shared customers and will continue to take actions to protect its customers’ best interests. It is time for Oracle to quit pursuing baseless accusations and honor its commitments to HP and to our shared customers in a timely manner.

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