HP taken aback by Oracle’s decision to drop Itanium chips

24 Mar 2011

HP has expressed shock at Oracle’s decision this week to stop developing applications for Intel Itanium processors. The move follows similar decisions by Microsoft and Red Hat last year.

On Tuesday, Oracle announced it intended to discontinue making applications for Intel Itanium microprocessors. Its reasoning followed discussions with Microsoft and Red Hat, because Intel is focusing on its x86 processor family and because it believed Itanium is nearing the end of its life.

However, it could also be assumed the decision may have something to do with a spat between HP, one of the major suppliers of Itanium servers, and Oracle.

Oracle tried to subpoena former SAP CEO and current HP CEO Leo Apotheker in the US$1.3bn software trial between Oracle and SAP, which Oracle won. In addition, former HP CEO Mark Hurd joined Oracle last year as president.

“We are shocked that Oracle would put enterprises and governments at risk while costing them hundreds of millions of dollars in lost productivity,” HP executive vice-president Dave Donatelli said in a statement.

The current Version 11gR2 of the Oracle database will be the last product from Oracle to support Itanium and the company said it will continue to support existing customers that run on Itanium.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years