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

Enjoy the drama, but get ready to migrate

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"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,” continues the quote, which is attributed to HP EVP Dave Donatelli, but appears to have been written by a refugee from either "Days of our Lives," reality TV, or a recently closed therapeutic home for the dramatic and shameless.

If Oracle is desperate, the financial results it posted Thursday don't show it. Sales increased 37 percent, revenue beat Wall Street forecasts by $100 million, and profits totaled $2.8 billion.

HP owns 90 percent of the Itanium server market, according to IDC.

Oracle, overqualified for anything involving drama and shamelessness, countered with its own press release saying Oracle isn't putting customers at risk, it's protecting them by giving them adequate notice that future versions of its products won't support Itanium, though it will continue to support existing products on the platform.

Oracle threw in a bit of conspiracy-theory paranoia as well:

"HP is well aware that Intel's future direction is focused on X86 and that plans to replace Itanium with X86 are already in place. HP is knowingly withholding this information from our joint Itanium customers," Oracle's release charged.

The Register suggests the whole spitting match is personal – driven by conflicts between top execs at HP and Oracle – which hired former HP CEO Mark Hurd after Hurd was fired for sexual harassment and too much creativity with expense reimbursements, annoying HP enough to hire the former CEO of Oracle arch-rival SAP (then the defendant in an intellectual-property theft suit in which Oracle was the plaintiff) to be HP's CEO and put former Oracle icon Ray Lane to chair its board.

Conclusion (please):

The whole thing gets kind of tedious to type, let alone follow if you're not a big fan of tech-heavy soap operas, or if you like to get your toddler behavior from actual toddlers.

If you're looking for the upshot of all the wasted bandwidth, adversarial marketing, threats, noise, accusations and hype, as far as I can tell, here it is: Oracle won't run any future versions of its software on Itanium. Intel will keep developing Itanium and HP will keep selling servers with it.

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