updated 06:35 pm EDT, Wed June 15, 2011
HP sues Oracle for threatening to drop Itanium
HP on Wednesday night said it had sued Oracle over its decision to drop Itanium support for its database apps. The PC builder contended that Oracle was breaking "legally binding commitments" to keep supporting servers and workstations based on Intel's 64-bit pro hardware. HP was equally convinced that Oracle was engaging in an anti-competitive strategy that pushed HP users over to Oracle's own systems to keep going.
Oracle had backed out on the argument that the Itanium was dying but was immediately met with a backlash from HP and Intel, both of whom insisted that Itanium was still in development and still relevant. HP went on to try and guilt Oracle into a reversal by calling on developers who said they would be hurt by the switch.
Itanium was originally supposed to be the herald for a replacement for the old x86 architecture across Intel's entire line but was quickly limited to very high-end computing. The platform never significantly expanded as x86 quickly found ways to get around shortcomings and, for most users, was as fast or faster. Intel is working on a 32 nanometer-based version of Itanium under the Poulson codename and has a more advanced edition, Kittson, also in the works.