HP, Oracle Take Their Differences to Court

Lora Bentley
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Customers Weigh In on Oracle Itanium Controversy

It's pretty clear that many IT organizations are dubious of Oracle's motives.

Distrust that may have begun with Oracle's purchase of Sun Microsystems and which grew after former HP CEO Mark Hurd stepped down, only to take an executive post at Oracle weeks later, erupted into a dog fight this week when HP sued Oracle for breach of implied contract and defamation, according to The Wall Street Journal.


The suit, filed in state court in California, arose out of Oracle's March announcement that it would stop providing software for server systems that run on Intel's Itanium chip. HP claims Oracle made the decision because Intel had indicated that Itanium was "near the end of its life."


Given this information, the suit alleges that despite repeated promises to continue support of Itanium-based servers, Oracle eventually tried to "coerce" those who used those servers to adopt servers offered by Oracle. For instance, Oracle refused to fix bugs in current software for Itanium-based servers and offered users Sun servers instead.


Oracle reportedly calls the suit meritless and accuses HP of trying to mislead customers regarding the Itanium chip. But Intel refutes those claims. A company spokesperson told the WSJ:

We are committed to Itanium. No change.

HP wants unspecified damages as well as an injunction compelling Oracle to "remedy the harm" it has caused.

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