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New battle lines drawn in Oracle-HP feud

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Oracle's announcement yesterday that it will stop developing its software for the Itanium platform was the first salvo in a new round of fighting between the two companies. HP has hit back, accusing Oracle of "anti-consumer behaviour" designed to shore up its "failing Sun server business", according to an HP executive.

Oracle justified its decision partly on the basis that HP CEO Leo Apotheker recently laid out the company's new direction without specifically mentioning the Itanium platform which HP and Intel co-developed.
However, HP has issued a statement reiterating that it will continue the development and innovation of Itanium-based Integrity server platforms with its HP-UX operating system using a roadmap that extends more than 10 years.
In addition, HP states it will continue to support customers running existing versions of Oracle software on Itanium-based Integrity servers, both existing and future platforms, during the same timeframe.
"Last year, HP launched the industry’s most modern mission-critical architecture in more than a decade," it states. "This constitutes the longest published roadmap of any Unix vendor in the industry."
Dave Donatelli, executive vice-president and GM: Enterprise Servers, Storage & Networking at HP, comments: "Oracle continues to show a pattern of anti-customer behaviour as they move to shore up their failing Sun server business.
“HP believes in fair and honest competition. Competition is good for customers, innovation and the marketplace. We are shocked that Oracle would put enterprises and governments at risk while costing them hundreds of millions of dollars in lost productivity in a shameless gambit to limit fair competition.”
Oracle also defended its actions yesterday by saying management at Intel had indicated that Itanium was near the end of its life.
However, Intel president and CEO Paul Otellini says: “Intel’s work on Intel Itanium processors and platforms continues unabated with multiple generations of chips currently in development and on schedule. We remain firmly committed to delivering a competitive, multi-generational roadmap for HP-UX and other operating system customers that run the Itanium architecture.”
Poulson is Intel’s next-generation 32-nm, 8-core-based Itanium chip, and is on track to more than double the performance of the existing Tukwila architecture. Kittson is an officially committed roadmap product for Itanium beyond Poulson and also is in active development.
Intel Itanium processor industry momentum will be highlighted in a keynote at the upcoming Beijing Intel Developer’s Forum.
HP says that it has moved ahead into second position in the Unix market while Sun lost share and fell back into third since Oracle announced it would acquire Sun in April 2009.
"It is clear that Oracle customers are voting with their purchasing decisions against the Sun platform," the HP statement reads. "This latest Oracle action of disinformation is clearly an attempt to force customers into purchasing Sun servers in a desperate move to slow their declining market share."