Intel's HP-Oracle-Itanium soap opera: Why you should care

Enjoy the drama, but get ready to migrate

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There's a rumor ABC is going to cancel paleolithic soap opera "All My Children."

Luckily, in the tech industry, we can fill in any need for soap operatic behavior with Oracle and anything it touches.

The most recent outrage from bad-boy Larry Ellison and his posse of black-cloaked minions was to announce they would dash the hopes of young Intel, by halting development of Oracle apps and databases for Unix servers based on Intel's Itanium processors.

Oracle said it made the decision because Intel management "made it clear that their strategic focus is on their x86 microprocessor and that Itanium was nearing the end of its life," the Oracle announcement said.

"Nay, you fiend" cried Intel, flinging itself on the chaise lounge and weeping, copiously. (Actually, being Intel, its response was quick but incredibly boring. It put out a one-paragraph press release affirming that "Intel's work in Intel Itanium processors and platforms continues unabated with multiple generations of chips currently in development and on schedule." It tried to amp up the statement by attributing it to CEO Paul Otellini, and mentioning that the next-generation Itanium will be an 8-core based on a 32nm architecture. Fans wept with relief.)

Luckily HP was on hand to make rash accusations and inflated claims.

Charging that Intel plans to drop Itanium is an act of "anti-customer" disinformation that " is clearly an attempt to force customers into purchasing Sun servers in a desperate move to slow their declining market share, according to an HP release titled HP Supports Customers Despite Oracle’s Anti-customer Actions.

Sun just slipped from No. 2 to No. 3 in the server market in IDC surveys, HP notes.

That slip shows Oracle is losing so much money on Sun and Sun servers it has become desperate endanger its customers and the whole market for Itanium by lying about Intel's plans for the processor and put customers in the position of swapping out their Itanium servers for SPARC or risk losing support for their critical applications, the release implies.

"HP believes in fair and honest competition," it sniffs.

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