HP threatens Oracle over Itanium

The maker of jolly expensive printer ink has unleashed its wolf pack of lawyers in an attempt to get Larry Ellison’s Oracle to support Intel Itanium processors.

Ellison had ruled that Oracle officially could not be bothered with the Intel technology, and besides Intel was not going to support it either. (See Users hit out at Oracle’s Itanium plan)

That bought angry denials form Intel and its partner HP who feared that if Oracle stopped supporting the technology, everyone would give up on it.

Now HP has sent a formal legal demand to Oracle saying that Larry Ellison and Oracle are legally obliged to continue developing software for Itanium.

In the stiff missive, HP claims Oracle is violating legally binding commitments with HP and with the two companies’ estimated 140,000 customers.

HP said that it was hoping that Oracle will honour its commitments to HP and to the customers it shares with Oracle.

But it warned that if Oracle continues to disregard its commitments, and continues to engage in conduct designed to deny choice and harm competition, HP will take legal action to protect its customers and the significant investments they have made in Itanium.

HP’s Integrity Unix servers, NonStop servers, and OpenVMS servers are based on Itanium. However they all run Oracle applications and if Ellison drops Itanium, HP stands to lose shedloads.

HP action man and CEO Leo Apotheker dubbed Oracle’s Itanium decision a clumsy attempt by Oracle to try and prop up its Sun server business.