Hewlett-Packard has secretly contracted with Intel to keep making Itanium processors so that HP can maintain the appearance that “a dead microprocessor is still alive”, and make money from its locked-in Itanium customer base and take business away from Oracle’s Sun servers, Oracle said in a court filing on Friday.
The market has never been told that Itanium lives on because HP is paying Intel to keep it going, Oracle said. Intel’s independent business judgement would have killed off Itanium years ago, it added.
HP however described the filing as a “desperate delay tactic designed to extend the paralyzing uncertainty in the marketplace” that it said was created when Oracle announced in March, 2011, in a breach of contract, that “it would no longer support HP’s Itanium platform”.
HP has made statements to the marketplace to the effect that Intel’s commitment to Itanium is its own, based on its normal calculations for investing in processors that it believes have a future, Oracle said in a filing before the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Santa Clara.
A public redacted version of the filing was made available to The Wall Street Journal’s AllThingsD blog. Intel could not be immediately reached for comment.
Oracle also claimed that HP had kept secret from the market, but revealed in a filing two days previously, that HP and Intel have a contractual commitment that Itanium will continue through the next two generations of microprocessors.
HP’s strategy behind its “false statements” about Intel’s support for Itanium was to take away business from Oracle Sun, and “reap lucrative revenues from the locked-in Itanium customer base using HP’s HP-UX operating system on Itanium servers”, as the company gets few service contracts on operating systems like Linux that run on x86 processors, Oracle said.
Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems last year.