HP Lays an Ostrich Egg During Turkey Week

One of the fundamental rules of public relations is that if you want to make an announcement that you don't want to be noticed, do it just before a big holiday. That probably helps explain why HP picked the Tuesday before the big Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. to announce its "Project Odyssey."

I have to applaud HP on picking an exceptionally appropriate name. Odysseus means "trouble" in Greek, and his journey took ten long years after defeat in war. During his journey none of his fellow travelers survived. Sounds like a perfect name for the latest plot twist in the Itanium Meltdown, doesn't it?

I can summarize HP's announcement thusly:

  1. There's nothing we can do to save HP-UX, OpenVMS, or NonStop. We might have another unexciting Itanium chip or two in the pipeline, but who cares? Our turkeys are cooked without software vendor support.
  2. Unfortunately our lawyers aren't giving us high odds of prevailing over Oracle in court. If by some miracle we did, it wouldn't help our customers. We'd just collect some cash.
  3. You'll be able to stick obsolete-but-repurchased Itanium blade servers into the same chassis that also hold Intel X86 blades running Windows and/or Linux. This plan is so exciting that we're announcing it when nobody will notice. (And didn't we already announce that?)
  4. Yes, we know blades are horizontally scalable, not vertically scalable. Yes, we know many NonStop customers aren't thrilled with blade architectures for availability reasons. Did we mention we're getting out of the high-end server business? Did we mention we couldn't afford the R&D a decade ago to be a credible high-end server vendor, never mind now? We just wanted to be a box pusher and let Intel worry about the CPU and everybody else worry about the software. It seemed like a brilliant idea at the time, at least to our accountants.
  5. We'll strip the HP-UX corpse of any interesting bits and make those available for Linux and/or Windows. No, we don't have any idea what those bits might be.
  6. There are no new versions of HP-UX, OpenVMS, or NonStop Kernel to announce. Are we being clear enough yet?
  7. Isn't it cute that Microsoft said something nice in our press release? Of course they would: they abandoned Itanium before Oracle did. Of course they'll sign their name to our Itanium retirement party book. Ditto Red Hat.
  8. In an announcement like this one normally we'd boast about all the new Itanium customers, our revenue growth, etc., etc. Of course, we can't do that when the opposite is true. We couldn't even persuade a real customer to say anything nice about this announcement. We got tired of hearing "F**k you!" every time we asked a customer for a quote.

by Timothy Sipples December 4, 2011 in History, Systems Technology


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well as for me i think this statment "if you want to make an announcement that you don't want to be noticed, do it just before a big holiday." is relative. it depends on the people is been directed to. First of all note if the statement has any plotical inclination or correctness.
all this same is quite interesting from your point of view.

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