More Itanium Meltdown News: HP Sues Oracle

In the wake of Oracle's decision to cease all development of new Oracle software releases for Itanium-based servers, Hewlett-Packard has filed a lawsuit against Oracle. HP accuses Oracle of anti-competitive behavior. Oracle issued a statement which ends with this sentence: "Intel’s plans to end-of-life Itanium will be revealed in court now that HP has filed this utterly malicious and meritless lawsuit against Oracle."

I'm not a lawyer, but it's hard for me to imagine HP prevailing in a lawsuit. Even if Oracle is anti-competitive, what's the remedy? Would a court order Oracle to continue writing software for a particular platform? Which products, for how long, and would anyone want to buy products Oracle didn't want to create but which a court forced them to ship? In all the cases involving anti-competitive behavior that I recall, any legal remedies involved stopping a particular activity, disclosing information, and/or a financial settlement. None of those remedies are going to solve customer problems in this situation. Also, Oracle will no doubt point out that they continue to develop software for IBM platforms (AIX and Linux on System z), for Linux running on HP servers, and for Microsoft Windows running on HP servers. Furthermore, Oracle would argue that they were only following Red Hat and Microsoft in abandoning HP's Itanium servers. In other words, the market has spoken, and no vendor should be required to support a fading UNIX platform longer than they wish — and, besides, Oracle has done more to sustain Itanium than anyone. Moreover, history is littered with fading UNIX platforms for which vendors no longer develop new software: Silicon Graphics, NCR, SCO, NeXT, Data General, Wang, etc. HP has discontinued development and/or support for many operating systems, too. Are any Tru64 or MPE/iX customers happy with HP?

There were a few HP customers that were lobbying Oracle to reverse or at least modify its March announcement. The odds of that happening were always low, but the lawsuit (and Oracle's response) have dropped the odds to zero. Oracle isn't coming back to Itanium.

I suspect HP knows they cannot prevail in court, but sometimes it still makes business sense to file. As I mentioned previously, most Oracle-HP customers, now that they are forced to choose sides, will choose Oracle. Software trumps hardware, quite simply. However, some percentage of customers find alternatives to Oracle. HP probably hopes that this lawsuit will encourage more of those customers to side with HP. We'll see.

For prior analysis of the Itanium Meltdown, including recommended solutions and strategies for Oracle-HP customers, please see here, here, and here.

by Timothy Sipples June 15, 2011 in Current Affairs, Systems Technology
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My understanding (gained from good blogs like your own!) is that Oracle will still demand license fees for software running on Itanium, even though it will no longer support them.

This has long been a model that the IT industry has gotten away with - enforced upgrades.

Is it anti-competitive to enforce license fees without support?

Posted by: Eoghan Maher | Jun 16, 2011 4:37:20 AM

That's correct. Oracle announced that they will not develop any new versions of any of their software products for Itanium systems. However, Oracle customers are obliged to pay license fees if they buy more CPUs to run Oracle software. Also, customers who want support from Oracle must pay maintenance fees, which Oracle says they'll be happy to collect as long as customers want to pay. Both license and maintenance fees could (and probably will) increase.

Posted by: Timothy | Jun 16, 2011 7:06:33 AM

People always have much expectation with the new operating system. Definitely windows 8 will bring some new and attractive features for the users. However, Microsoft hasn’t confirmed many things yet. From different sources some features are described below.

Posted by: Pran | Jun 17, 2011 11:06:38 AM

Now-a-days it’s a burning question that when the next version of Microsoft windows will be released and what will be the name. Rumors say that the time will be 2012 or 2013 and the name will be windows 8 as it is the next version of windows 7.
People always have much expectation with the new operating system. Definitely windows 8 will bring some new and attractive features for the users. However, Microsoft hasn’t confirmed many things yet. From different sources some features are described below.
It’s good news for the gamers that the new OS is bringing some new games. So gamers will get the opportunity of having new gaming experience.
Windows 7 supports 32-bit and 64-bit processors. It is rumored that windows 8 will support 64-bit and 128-bit. But 128-bit processors will be costly for the average users at the time of releasing windows 8. So 128-bit processors may only be used in windows 8 servers.
Windows 8 will support ARM processors. These processors are used in smart phones and tablets. Probably for these equipments mobile version of windows 8 will be released. So the windows OS will not be limited to the PC only.
The new operating system will have built in security system which will block viruses from affecting system files. So consumer will have better safety.
A new service DFSR or Distributed File System Replication will be there in the new OS for processing data in multiple networks.
A new technology will be there for which a user will be able to operate his computer without using a mouse and a keyboard. He will give commands to PC by using his speech or eye movement. This is a very attractive feature.
Many computer users are eagerly waiting for the new version of windows. They hope that it will be an innovative one.
To know the latest and recent news about windows 8 visit www.windows8news.net

Posted by: naimur Rahman | Jun 17, 2011 12:01:19 PM

Now-a-days it’s a burning question that when the next version of Microsoft windows will be released and what will be the name. Rumors say that the time will be 2012 or 2013 and the name will be windows 8 as it is the next version of windows 7.
People always have much expectation with the new operating system. Definitely windows 8 will bring some new and attractive features for the users. However, Microsoft hasn’t confirmed many things yet. From different sources some features are described below.
It’s good news for the gamers that the new OS is bringing some new games. So gamers will get the opportunity of having new gaming experience.
Windows 7 supports 32-bit and 64-bit processors. It is rumored that windows 8 will support 64-bit and 128-bit. But 128-bit processors will be costly for the average users at the time of releasing windows 8. So 128-bit processors may only be used in windows 8 servers.
Windows 8 will support ARM processors. These processors are used in smart phones and tablets. Probably for these equipments mobile version of windows 8 will be released. So the windows OS will not be limited to the PC only.
The new operating system will have built in security system which will block viruses from affecting system files. So consumer will have better safety.
A new service DFSR or Distributed File System Replication will be there in the new OS for processing data in multiple networks.
A new technology will be there for which a user will be able to operate his computer without using a mouse and a keyboard. He will give commands to PC by using his speech or eye movement. This is a very attractive feature.
Many computer users are eagerly waiting for the new version of windows. They hope that it will be an innovative one.
To know the latest and recent news about windows 8 visit www.windows8news.net

Posted by: Pran | Jun 17, 2011 12:35:07 PM

People have a lot of expectations with windows 8 but we still are not sure what all it will bring in for us. I am desperately waiting for it but I really want it to be user friendly like windows7

Posted by: motorcycle shipping | Jul 16, 2011 5:16:05 AM

Sometime license fees are more than computer price. So we avoid to take license version of any software or program. To avoid piracy company should reduce rate of license version software.

Posted by: Refurbished Computers | Aug 25, 2011 2:48:36 PM

They should learn from apple cheap OS X and no serials required.

Posted by: Nexus IT Support & Repair | Sep 30, 2011 10:42:36 AM

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Posted by: Allen | Nov 27, 2011 2:21:47 AM

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