Quoted: Safra Catz on the wild ride that is HP vs. Oracle

“Buckle up.”

Safra Catz, Oracle co-president, comments on a Larry Ellison-written press release she forwarded to her staffers last year about Oracle’s decision to stop supporting Hewlett-Packard servers that use Intel‘s Itanium chips. CEO Ellison was on jury duty last year and said he “had nothing to do for 15 minutes, so (he) drafted a press release,” according to Wired. The press release read, in part, that “Intel management made it clear… that Itanium was nearing the end of its life.” It’s something Intel has denied; Intel CEO Paul Otellini is on the witness list. (Also see Quoted: on Itanium as ‘closely guarded’ HP secret.) HP sued Oracle over its decision, accusing the Redwood City company of violating a contract, as the bad blood between the two longtime business partners worsens. The trial got under way Monday in Santa Clara Superior Court, with an HP lawyer saying the Palo Alto company was “shocked” over Oracle’s action, according to the Mercury News. The Merc also reports that HP claims it has so far lost about $500 million in server sales and could lose up to $4 billion by 2020 because of Oracle’s move.


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  • dermbuilder

    What I can’t understand is why HP didn’t stop using the Itanium chip long ago. If Intel is phasing it out it is only because it is a chip with severe design limitations. It has been utterly superseded by AMD-64 type designs, which don’t have those limitations. There is nothing as foolish in engineering as to hold on to functionally obsolete designs.

  • MissouriBoy

    Itanium was a joint project, both HP and Intel R&D. The HP R&D people hang on to the notion that Itanium is superior to other 64 bit designs. But what does that matter? Superior technology does not always trump having market dominance. Intel doesn’t want to spend money on Itanium, because of limited usage. Without broad market acceptance, Itanium is dead. HP just clings to it so it believes it still has a hand in CPU design. I hope HP is moving rapidly away from Itanium, otherwise it is just another large company failing to admit its mistakes.