Court: Oracle Breached Contract with HP to Boost SPARC Positions as HP Hid Itanium Roadmap

Court Found Both HP and Oracle Acting Unfairly in Itanium Situation

by Anton Shilov
01/31/2012 | 07:05 PM

The superior Court of the state of California has ruled that both Hewlett-Packard and Oracle did not act absolutely correctly in the case of Intel Itanium-based servers. The court found HP’s attempt to hide aspects of Itanium’s roadmap and end-of-life plan to partners and own employees (by not revealing that Kittson+ is the last IA64). The court has also noted Oracle’s attempt to use "a fraud claim" to undo its contract with HP and boost Sun SPARC servers' sales.


“HP is pleased that the superior Court of the state of California, has rejected Oracle’s attempt to use a fraud claim to undo its contract with HP. We look forward to seeing the facts made public that demonstrate how Oracle’s March 2011 announcement to no longer develop software for Itanium servers was part of a calculated business strategy to drive hardware sales from Itanium to inferior Sun servers,” a statement by HP reads.

The court disclosed that Oracle’s internal documents make clear that its March 2011 announcement that it would no longer develop software for Itanium servers was implemented as part of a business strategy to leverage Oracle’s dominance in database software to try to force Itanium customers to purchase Sun SPACR servers. HP interprets the court's decision by claiming that Oracle used false statement about Itanium’s future viability, urging its sales teams to create fear, uncertainty and doubt in the minds of customers about the risks of not migrating off Itanium. Oracle also intentionally did not fix bugs on its software for Itanium.

Oracle itself interprets the decisions by the court as a major victory of its own.

"Oracle is delighted that the superior Court of the State of California, has rejected HP’s attempt to hide the truth about Itanium’s certain end of life from its customers, partners and own employees. We look forward to seeing all of the facts made public that demonstrate how HP has known for years that Itanium is end of life," a statement by Oracle reads.

Oracle quotes HP as saying in its internal documents that HP did not want to reveal that the Itanium road map is “more an illusion than of technical significance”, that HP's purpose was to “extend the Itanium roadmap…to create market perception of long term viability” and that HP-UX was on a death march "due to inevitable Itanium trajectory". At the same time, Oracle revealed that Intel and HP plan to release "throttled down" version of Kittson as well as "full version" Kittson+  create “illusion” of longer roadmap, a clear indicator that Itanium will be updated till 2015 - 2016 and only then will be gradually phased out.