Aside from battling it out in court with Google, Oracle is also dealing with another legal matter, this time against Hewlett-Packard.
In a recent filing submitted in court before the official trial begins, HP stated that Oracle decided to stop supporting their Itanium servers when sales of the Sun’s Sparc servers’, which came with the Sun Microsystems acquisition in 2009, continued to plummet. The filing also stated that Oracle executives thought that the Sun acquisition was a huge mistake.
The filing was submitted by HP to the Superior Court of the State of California, Santa Clara County, in response to Oracle’s motion for summary adjudication – Oracle is prompting for dismissal of the case in the belief that there is no real issue.
HP and Oracle are arguing about the Itanium chips made by Intel, which are used on certain exotic, high-end systems sold by HP and Oracle supported. Oracle declared that they would stop supporting Itanium as it was nearing its end, adding that Intel long wanted to discontinue Itanium production.
HP has a lot to lose if Oracle’s Itanium support ceases. Without the support and maintenance fees collected from companies who buy HP’s Itanium-based servers, the company is strategically screwed.
Oracle also tried to argue in court that HP duped them into hiring their former CEO Mark Hurd by hiding the fact that they were in the process of hiring Leo Apotheker as CEO and Ray Lane as board chairman, and that they were paying $88 million a year to Intel to “artificially continue” the Itanium’s lifespan, but the filings were dismissed.
The HP-Oracle battle is still in its discovery period, wherein both parties can submit filings to prove or disprove allegations. HP’s recent filing suggests that the real reason behind Oracle’s decision to stop supporting Itanium as some sort of powerplay as one of Oracle’s executive was quoted saying “that we are the ones dictating IT/Itanium obsolescence.”
The filing also mentioned that Oracle CEO Larry Ellison only told a select number of their executives that they would no longer support the Itanium, and that Oracle’s senior vice-president of database development was not even consulted and was confused as to why Ellison decided to do so when a “significant number of customers were using” the platform.
HP also reiterated how “anti-customer” Oracle is with their actions. First, because of breaching their contract with HP in supporting Itanium and now, for discontinuing support of something that is being used by many.
It was noted before that Oracle had nothing to lose if Itanium ceased to exist, but it was not considered that they had a lot to gain if it does. If Itanium vanishes, HP’s Itanium-based servers would also become extinct, opening up the market for Sun’s Sparc servers.