HP sues Oracle over Itanium debate

Court case

HP has brought a court case against Oracle to try and prevent the firm discontinuing support for Intel's Itanium chips.

Oracle made the call to halt software development for the microprocessor back in March, claiming Intel had indicated Itanium was "nearing the end of its life."

Intel denied the claims and, come April, HP had waded into the argument, claiming Oracle's decision would cost customers who had made investments into Itanium dearly.

Now HP is taking it to the next level, suing Larry Ellison's company and claiming Oracle agreed to continue supporting Itanium before announcing an end to support. In turn, HP is trying to force Oracle to change its mind.

War what is it good for?

This is just the latest episode in a line of spats between the two firms who used to be considered close allies.

The turn came about when Oracle managed to secure the acquisition of Sun Microsystems back in 2009, pitting the former partners against one another in the battle for hardware market share.

When times got tough at HP and chief executive Mark Hurd was booted out of the company for his questionable accounting, his friend Ellison leapt to his defence and publicly berated HP's treatment of the executive.

It then emerged Ellison wanted to hire Hurd himself and, following lawsuits concerning company secrets, Hurd eventually joined Oracle as a co-president.

HP had its next move lined up and hired former SAP boss, Leo Apotheker to take over the CEO role. At the time, Oracle was still embroiled in a court case with SAP over the TomorrowNow software stealing scandal and it was clear there was little love lost between the two executives.

Now this latest battle will play out in a Californian court, with Intel's chip playing role of lead instigator.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.