HP, Oracle battle it out

HP has filed a California lawsuit claiming a breach in agreement regarding a chip dispute

Hewlett Packard Co. alleges that over a period of eight months, “Oracle has gone from an arm-in-arm ‘partnership’ with Hewlett-Packard to bitter antagonist.”

In March, Oracle Corp. made an announcement that it would no longer support its database software on Hewlett-Packard computer servers that use the Itanium chip. HP said Oracle used strong-arm tactics to coerce customers into replacing their HP servers with Sun servers.

The software giant acquired Sun Microsystems last year in an effort to expand its hardware offerings.

Oracle disagrees, saying that HP’s claim is untrue, and that they didn’t offer continued support because Itanium is outdated and believes the line will soon be discontinued.

“What is true is that HP explicitly asked Oracle to guarantee continued support for Itanium; but Oracle refused, and HP’s Itanium support guarantee wording was deleted from the final signed agreement,” Oracle said in a statement.

Additionally, Oracle says that when they entered into negotiations with HP, they didn’t know a plan was under way to phase out the Itanium line.

In the complaint, HP claims that when customers have sought fixes of bugs in Oracle software used in HP’s Itanium servers, Oracle refused, demanding instead that customers move to the next version of the software that Oracle says will not run on HP’s Itanium servers.

HP also says Oracle has begun to give away Sun servers that will run new versions of Oracle’s software.

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