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More Court Trouble For Oracle: Now HP Is Suing Them

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the larry-ellison-hops-off-the-itanic dept.

HP 116

New submitter another random user writes "Oracle violated its contract with Hewlett-Packard (HP) after it decided that future versions of its database software would not support a line of HP servers, HP's lawyer has said in court." The issue at hand: Oracle agreed to support Itanium, and has since pulled support. "... Hewlett-Packard estimates it should be awarded more than $4 billion in damages, based on an extrapolation to 2020 that accounts for projected losses, said the person, who didn’t want to be identified because the court document containing the damages request is confidential." Oracle is using the Itanic defense: "In cross-examination today, Oracle attorney Dan Wall asked Livermore [HP board member] if she had heard Itanium called 'Itanic,' a reference to the 'Titanic' oceanliner sinking. 'I've heard lots of terms,' Livermore said. 'I understand the reference they are making and I don’t like it. It is not done by anyone I like or respect.'"

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116 comments

This is a year old (5, Informative)

DrEnter (600510) | about 2 years ago | (#40234779)

HP filed this case a year ago [slashdot.org]. They made opening statements in the trial today.

Re:This is a year old (4, Interesting)

Galestar (1473827) | about 2 years ago | (#40234901)

Parent should be modded up. Also, slashdot editors should get a stern talking to.

Re:This is a year old (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40235935)

Yo, editors! I need to talk to you near the back of the boat!

Re:This is a year old (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40238571)

The reality is that Slashdot is a joke. It has changed from what it once was, mostly by the fact that the audience has changed but it didn't. Slashdot stopped improving at some point years and years ago. I come back and read things as a matter of habit, but in the last year it has been really noticeable. It feels like Digg in the late 3.x days when people knew Digg 4 was coming. We've seen these stupid Slashdot videos and other BS lately which indicates the wrong people are making strategic decisions about where the site should go.

Time and time again we have these horrible submissions which have not passed a spell check, grammar check, and basic fact and sanity check. And yet, at the same time, Slashdot is almost never where I am hearing about computer technology for the first time. I often read about something the day before from various other sources, THEN see it on Slashdot. I suppose that's because I'm just on the in-crowd for this industry, but that means Slashdot is in the out-crowd.

Fundamentally, as a reader, I can feel that the editors and back-side of this website has seriously problems. I don't know WTF they are doing over there and what is keeping their attention, but paying attention to the quality of content on the site isn't it.

Karma (5, Insightful)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 2 years ago | (#40234813)

No, not the open source project "Karma" but "Karma" in the cosmic hippie sense.

I hope HP takes them to the cleaners. And they aren't even being patent trolls, it genuinely sounds like Uncle Larry Douchebag screwed them over.

Go HP!

(Sorry HP, your products still suck... but your lawsuit is AWESOME!)

Re:Karma (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40234971)

This 'serves them right' attitude on every one of these posts makes me believe most slashdot posters are petty. Not that I'm surprised....

Re:Karma (2)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#40234975)

The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Go get em, HP!

Re:Karma (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40235107)

And why is Oracle such an enemy to you? How many enemies do you have?

Re:Karma (2)

HiThere (15173) | about 2 years ago | (#40238691)

FWIW, they just tried to claim that APIs could be copyrighted. That makes them the enemy of every programmer in the US, no matter who they work for, or in what environment. You may not know it, but if you're a US programmer, Oracle is your enemy.

It's true they've currently lost that case, but it will be appealed.

Re:Karma (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40235111)

Heh, you're off by one. Check groklaw: the enemy of m'y enemy's enemy is... er...

Re:Karma (3, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#40235463)

Habit 29: The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy. No more. No less

Re:Karma (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40235603)

this is oracle we are talking about, and so it *IS* everyone's enemy.

(I got riffed from oracle, brutally, and so I wish nothing but bad things to happen to that POS company!)

Re:Karma (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40235771)

Maxim 29...

Re:Karma (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#40236225)

I preferred the old title.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates

is much funnier than

The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries

Re:Karma (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40236293)

They're different books from the Schlock-verse.

Re:Karma (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40236357)

Nope. The latter is a retcon because the former made some people upset.

Re:Karma (0)

aralin (107264) | about 2 years ago | (#40236359)

You know that HP is trying to legislate some life into a dying chip architecture. I thought this site was all about not using courts to prop up dying business models and schemes... Also, once you wake up, you will see that the advertiser Google, is much more evil than a pure technology vendor Oracle. Just need to take off that blindfold.

Re:Karma (2)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#40236443)

I personally feel Google is the lesser evil of the three being talked about. HP's in the middle, hence more tolerable than Oracle, which I wish would go away and stop fucking up perfectly good technologies.

Re:Karma (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40236695)

Also, once you wake up, you will see that the advertiser Google, is much more evil than a pure technology vendor Oracle. Just need to take off that blindfold.

If you ever had to work with any Oracle product aside from the DB itself, you'll realize that there cannot be anything more evil than Oracle. Anything they touch miraculously become completely unmanageable that very moment...

Re:Karma (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40235839)

And they aren't even being patent trolls, it genuinely sounds like Uncle Larry Douchebag screwed them over.

So what does this then have to do with patent trolls? Is it some random reference like "they're not even being suicide bombers" or "they're not even snurgling a gurgling"?

Re:Karma (0)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 2 years ago | (#40235999)

...

Re:Karma (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40238381)

Well wasn't this the most insightful post in the thread. Boy, it sure was beneficial to everyone that you took the time and effort to include that in the discussion.

Re:Karma (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40236725)

You might be doing it wrong, because I've found snurgling a gurgling can actually be quite pleasurable

Scotsmans (4, Funny)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 2 years ago | (#40234879)

" 'I understand the reference they are making and I don’t like it. It is not done by anyone I like or respect.'"

'No true scotsman' argument

We have been calling it Itanic since day one, if people she knows or like aren't using that term, then shes in an echo chamber

Re:Scotsmans (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#40234959)

Apparently the answer is 'yes'; but are you really allowed to pout like a spoiled child who just lost a little-league game when you are on the board of a multibillion dollar multinational corporation? Even the anodyne say-nothing drivel issued by professional PR flacks is less obnoxious, and something cleverer would sound less horribly self-pitying.

Re:Scotsmans (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40235239)

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Re:Scotsmans (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 2 years ago | (#40236161)

Apparently the answer is 'yes'; but are you really allowed to pout like a spoiled child who just lost a little-league game when you are on the board of a multibillion dollar multinational corporation?

Not just allowed, but encouraged. The sense of entitlement that oozes from the CEO/BOD class is palpable. They are spoiled whiny children playing with enormously powerful toys, and best understood and treated as such. Expect them to do and say the most thoughtless, self-centered, and occasionally reprehensible things possible with no understanding of the consequences of their words and actions, and you won't be disappointed.

Re:Scotsmans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40235003)

Everyone calls everything funny names. It's very weird to hear a lawyer use it in witness questioning. At least a lawyer not on the simpsons.

Re:Scotsmans (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40235805)

Oracle should be asked if they ever heard anyone say "One Rich Asshole Called Larry Ellison".

Re:Scotsmans (3, Insightful)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | about 2 years ago | (#40235471)

Yeah, if you don't like or respect anyone who calls it Itanic, you're an idiot, at the very least for basing a lack of respect on something as trivial as calling something a silly name.

But more than that, the name is apt. As a product, it's been nothing but trouble, and for what benefit? Forcing development of special compilers to support an architecture that does things a fraction better in an industry where computing power doubles on a semi-yearly basis while energy consumption remains flat or decreases, that's what. And for extra fun, it gets companies involved in lawsuits like this one, which benefits nobody but the lawyers. I won't try to argue that Itanium is a shit architecture or anything, I'm sure it's great when you don't have to deal with 20+ years of industry inertia, but I will say it's not even close to worth the trouble. Both HP and Oracle are going to lose money on this.

I understand that you can't admit even a possibility that the other side may be right in a court case, but I hope the HP board member doesn't actually live by that quote, because if that's the case, HP is a company run by people who refuse to learn from experience. It may be necessary to resort to hindsight to see that Itanium is a stupid idea, but tossing out that experience just because you think it makes you look stupid to not have been prescient back when there wasn't a great way to make the decision is just a recipe for sticking most strongly to your poorest guesses. This expectation of infallibility is one of the most poisonous parts of the business environment.

Re:Scotsmans (1)

KlomDark (6370) | about 2 years ago | (#40235975)

> We have been calling it Itanic since day one...

That's what I was going to say. I think I heard the "Itanic" term here on Slashdot a few weeks before Itanium was released.

So them using that term as an indicator that Itanium is a sinking chip is pointless. If nobody was calling that until recently then it would make sense. Sounds like desperation to me.

Re:Scotsmans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40237005)

I fail to see how Itanium being referred to as "Itanic" release Oracle from their contractual obligation to support it - as long as HP is still selling/supporting it

Re:Scotsmans (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 2 years ago | (#40237057)

Except i's not a no true scotsman argument.

And she does't necessarily live in a echo chamber, it seems unlikely you'd use that word when talking to an HP Board member after all. Doesn't mean you refuse to hear criticism or negative information. I'm pretty sure Bill Gates didn't get any department reports with "Micro$oft" in the titles either.

Re:Scotsmans (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 2 years ago | (#40237461)

its an edge case, but the inferencing is pretty strong. " I know what is being referred to, and no true scotsman would call it that."

What seals it is use of the word 'respect'. Her usage implies that anyone who would happen to refer to the product as 'Itanic' was contemptuous.

$4 billion in lost Itanic earnings b/c of Oracle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40234903)

Sounds about in the right ballpark to me.

*giggle*

"Itanic Defense", bah! (5, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#40234921)

If they really want a good defense, they need to try this:

"Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, I have one final thing I want you to consider. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Chewbacca. Chewbacca is a Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk. But Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now think about it; that does not make sense! Why would a Wookiee, an 8-foot-tall Wookiee, want to live on Endor, with a bunch of 2-foot-tall Ewoks? That does not make sense! But more important, you have to ask yourself: What does this have to do with this case? Nothing. Ladies and gentlemen, it has nothing to do with this case! It does not make sense! Look at me. I'm a lawyer defending a major technology company, and I'm talkin' about Chewbacca! Does that make sense? Ladies and gentlemen, I am not making any sense! None of this makes sense! And so you have to remember, when you're in that jury room deliberatin' and conjugatin' the Emancipation Proclamation, does it make sense? No! Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, it does not make sense! If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit!"

Re:"Itanic Defense", bah! (1)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | about 2 years ago | (#40234995)

Ah, South Park. Good times.

Re:"Itanic Defense", bah! (1)

The Mister Purple (2525152) | about 2 years ago | (#40235125)

And then some guy's head explodes...

Good times, indeed!

Re:"Itanic Defense", bah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40235837)

Good times, indeed, if it were Larry Ellison's head that exploded...

Then we could all run around yelling, "Who killed Larry?"

Re:"Itanic Defense", bah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40235491)

don't the Ewoks live on a moon of Endor, not the planet itself?

Re:"Itanic Defense", bah! (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 2 years ago | (#40235823)

I only recall them saying "The forest moon of Endor", which I took to mean that the moon was called Endor, but I guess could have meant "the forest moon of the planet Endor".

Either way, Chewbacca doesn't live on Endor. But that's part of the joke.

Re: Chewbacca (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40236713)

Why would a Wookiee, an 8-foot-tall Wookiee, want to live on Endor, with a bunch of 2-foot-tall Ewoks? "

Umm, midget and or furry fetish?

Just let the damn Itanic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40234999)

...die already.

Nobody wants it, nor is even interested in it anymore.

How Much (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40237145)

..does Mr UnShaved Old Fuck Pay You for that ? Old Fuck made a fortune (literally billions) by HP salesmen selling his product bundled with HP hardware. First PA-RISC, then Itanium. Every single Itanium CPU is probably more mission-critical than the MySQL toy databases you and your friends run in your bedrooms.

I am not the greatest fan of HP, but considering that they were a major, if not THE major part of his success, he is a disloyal, geriatric SCUMBAG. You don't treat your loyal, decades-long business partners like that. Did it ever occur to you that real humans are behind the Itanium business ? These people lose their jobs because of Mr Unshaved Old Fuck. Nice fucking of the 99% by a Mr 1% Larry Geriatric.

i bet oracle had a get out of jail free card (4, Insightful)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#40235105)

most contracts like this will have enough stipulations to make it fairly easy to pull out if things go south. i bet oracle put in all kinds of conditions like minimum sales numbers, etc

Friendship and business don't mix (4, Interesting)

maroberts (15852) | about 2 years ago | (#40235207)

It wouldn't surprise me if Mark Hurd was a little lax in the clauses of the contract(s) with Oracle because he was dealing with his buddy Larry.

Of course, once Hurd no longer ran the ship, HP found the terms of their contracts offered them little protection from an uncooperative Oracle....

That said, I'm not convinced Itanium had a future - maybe it was time to change processors. The difference probably was that HP could have done it in a more graceful fashion if they were not being kicked in the ass by Oracle.

Re:Friendship and business don't mix (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 2 years ago | (#40236873)

It wouldn't surprise me if Mark Hurd was a little lax in the clauses of the contract(s) with Oracle because he was dealing with his buddy Larry.

The contract at issue was a settlement of the Oracle-HP dispute that occurred after Hurd was essentially forced out of HP in a sexual harassment scandal and picked up by Oracle, so Hurd was pretty certainly not involved, at least on HP's side, in setting or evaluating the terms.

If I Were HP CEO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40237203)

...I would hire any competent Postgresql developer on the market and add all the missing bits to make it an Oracle RDBMS killer. Full PL/SQL support, tested in real-world customer settings. Benchmarking it in real-world customer scenarios. Tuning it until it is at least as well-performing as Oracle. Kill every known buy. Subject it to fuzzing to find even more bugs.

And then, release it as HP Itanium Database For Free. Hand out free conversion programs Oracle->Itanium Database. Spend three billion dollars to kill off Oracle's RDBMS business. This scumbag needs to be taught a lesson about loyalty to those who have helped him most during his miserable life.

Kinda feel for Oracle here (2)

Just Some Guy (3352) | about 2 years ago | (#40235311)

It sounds like Oracle probably has some contractual obligations to live up to, and if so, HP deserves for them to uphold their end of the bargain. That said, I can understand Oracle's lack of desire to throw good money after bad. Itanic might not be dead, but it's comatose in a hospice with friends and family gathered around. Who'd want to spend much time and effort on a system that almost nobody wants?

Re:Kinda feel for Oracle here (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#40235799)

I can only assume that Itanium is at the (very awkward) 'nobody gives a damn, except for a few very-deep-pocketed legacy customers who are willing to pay crazy money to avoid migrating' stage....

Re:Kinda feel for Oracle here (2)

idontgno (624372) | about 2 years ago | (#40236451)

except for a few very-deep-pocketed legacy customers who are willing to pay crazy money to avoid migrating' stage....

So, what you're saying, is that HP is trying to serve the best kind of customers possible (from a marketing perspective): locked in, conservative, change-averse, and rich enough to afford it.

Can you really blame HP for getting upset with Oracle screwing with their money tree?

Especially with Oracle spouting lame crap like "Yeah, Intel said they'd support Itanium, and yeah, their product roadmap shows continued Itanium development for several years, but we know better than Intel. Really. Itanium is dead. Trust us."

If HP Had A Soul (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40237363)

..they would turn around and grind Mr Larry into the ground for that. But they are only spineless MBA Cowards at the top. The grunts who did tens of thousands of HP/Oracle database server implementations - they will be screwed over for their hard work in developing millions lines of PL/SQL code. They will be screwed over for sitting long hours in front of terminals getting those Oracle-based database applications running. Ms Whitman will soon get her golden parachute and 50000 more HP employees will get the boot for helping to build the billion dollar empire of Mr Larry.

Mr Larry's next Yacht will be named "One Percent" on one side and "Screw Over" on the other side.

Re:Kinda feel for Oracle here (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#40237423)

Oh, I can't blame HP at all for being upset. My point about the 'very awkward' bit is that HP is, in a sense, both a vendor to highly desireable customers and in the position of being a squeezable 'customer' themselves.

HP likely makes a tidy profit on every IA64 box they ship, certainly compared to the x86 stuff; but their business is very much at the mercy of Intel and the small number of enterprise software vendors who still supply IA64 products and support. Even in the best case, where all the companies that HP depends on are also making out quite well on the IA64 customers, there may still come a time when, because some companies' margins in that market shrink faster than others, certain important companies will bail and leave HP holding the bag.

Worst case, one or more of the other vendors view the IA64 market as actively worth killing(as Oracle seems to here) or wish to take advantage of HP having a greater dependence on it than they do(as may have been the case with Intel's demand for development cash).

When you have a group of locked-in customers, you want to be their vendor, not just one of their vendors who is also a locked-in customer of some of the other vendors...

Yeah Nobody Except (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40237295)

..dozens of millions of customers of fortune 500 companies who could be served without expensive and rock-solid HP-UX/Itanium machines humming along in those large, well-cooled datacenters. Very much like IBM mainframes. Isn't it crazy to provide a reliable service to all these 78 million little fuckers ? Can't we screw them over by slapping their data into a Mysql toystore running on some beige x86 boxes ? That would be much cheaper, I tell you !

Re:Yeah Nobody Except (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | about 2 years ago | (#40238519)

Because Oracle+Solaris+x86 is known to be utterly worthless and unstable compared to Oracle+HPwhatever+ia64?

Larry's Nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40237261)

..that is your post. Oracle was still making excellent money with Itanium - it clearly was a matter of helping the sick SPARC business Mr Larry acquired. And a matter of vendetta regarding his buddy Hurd.

Itanium processors are very much like mainframe processors and simply cannot be compared to a beige x86 box. Yes, the business was declining, but didn't HP and their salesforce literally make Oracle ? Now he is backstabbing them for his own, very egotist reasons ? What a piece of shit !

Re:Kinda feel for Oracle here (1)

countach (534280) | about 2 years ago | (#40238061)

Of course, now that Oracle owns Sun, and their server line, they have a vested interest in killing the few remaining dedicated UNIX vendors. Once HP is gone, the market is owned by Oracle and IBM.

Re:Kinda feel for Oracle here (1)

WizADSL (839896) | about 2 years ago | (#40238617)

It sounds like Oracle probably has some contractual obligations to live up to, and if so, HP deserves for them to uphold their end of the bargain. That said, I can understand Oracle's lack of desire to throw good money after bad. Itanic might not be dead, but it's comatose in a hospice with friends and family gathered around. Who'd want to spend much time and effort on a system that almost nobody wants?

OS/2 Anyone?

Atinum (5, Interesting)

PetiePooo (606423) | about 2 years ago | (#40235315)

I always wished that AMD had named their Athlon chips Atinum instead.

1. They came out roughly the same time as Itanium
2. They were 64-bit (x86-64 instead of Itanium's IA64)
3. They were touted as the next generation after x86 (as was IA-64)
4. The name started with A (for AMD, where Itanium started with I for Intel)
5. The name was a metal with the first phonem(s) removed (Pl-Atinum vs. T-Itanium)
6. Platinum is more costly and precious than Titanium

For those that lack the history, x86-64 (and the Athlon) was a resounding success; so much so that Intel begrudgingly followed AMD's lead for their consumer grade 64-bit chips. Intel's attempt to push Itanium and the IA64 architecture faltered with the much simpler and sensical upgrade path that AMD's lineup offered.

I wonder if litigious HP will sue AMD too, since the success of the X86-64 architecture contributed to Itanium's failure as a platform, and thus Oracle's withdrawal of support for it.

Re:Atinum (2)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 2 years ago | (#40235461)

AMD also doomed us all to a few more decades of x86 brain damage.

Re:Atinum (1)

cruff (171569) | about 2 years ago | (#40235573)

AMD also doomed us all to a few more decades of x86 brain damage.

Instead of merely deacades of Itanium brain damage?

Re:Atinum (2)

LoRdTAW (99712) | about 2 years ago | (#40236237)

I remember when the Alpha architecture once looked to be a promising alternative to x86. It had tons of OS support including Windows, BSD and Linux and there were ATX motherboards available. Benchmarks showed it beat the piss out of any x86 processor in terms of floating point performance (yet integer lagged slightly). Once the remains of DEC were bought by Compaq, Compaq didn't need another CPU arch and sold the Alpha IP to Intel who effectively killed it.

But the core Alpha team went to work for AMD and together with the K6 and K7 team created the Athlon which was for a while an Intel killer. So while AMD is still an x86 house, much of their success was thanks to the Alpha team.

Re:Atinum (1)

anss123 (985305) | about 2 years ago | (#40236645)

yet integer lagged slightly

If you were planning on using GCC the performance lagged more than slightly. DEC charged top dollars for their compiler, so even folks that loved the alpha arch often settled for those 200MHz Pentium Pros instead. The PPro was very competitive on GCC compiled code.

Why DEC charged so much for the compiler is one of those strange mysteries. Drove away much enthusiast good will there.

DEC... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40237433)

Yeah, a said story of a proud company. My best guess is that Compaq got paid by WIntel to finish them off. They were a capable competitor to both Intel and Microsoft (after all. VMS is even today much better than Windows) and they had to be eliminated.

Re:Atinum (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40236503)

"Athlon" starts with an "A". (And "Atinum" is a silly name.)

One More Larry $hitlobber (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40237387)

Go back to your hole, little rodent.

So, let me get this straight... (5, Insightful)

GGardner (97375) | about 2 years ago | (#40235413)

The company that killed WebOS and seriously considered selling off their whole PC business line is desperate to hang on to their Itanium business?

Re:So, let me get this straight... (3, Insightful)

CodeHxr (2471822) | about 2 years ago | (#40235513)

I don't think they're desperate to hang onto that business at all. It seems most likely that this is HP's way of making a failing business unit turn a hefty profit instead.

I hope these huge corporations all sue each other into bankruptcy and allow a new generation of corporations rise from the ashes, much wiser from the lessons learned from the dinosaurs that made themselves extinct before them.

Re:So, let me get this straight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40236837)

I hope these huge corporations all sue each other into bankruptcy and allow a new generation of corporations rise from the ashes, much wiser from the lessons learned from the dinosaurs that made themselves extinct before them.

Quick question: When was the last time a huge corporation died?

No, I don't mean "was bought out", "was merged", or "had its intellectual property sold off". I mean, straight-up died. Ceased to be. Became bereft of life. Join the choir invisible. Gone.

And I mean HUGE. Like, on the scale of Oracle and HP, and relative to corporate operations of its time.

Hasn't happened in decades, has it? Probably long before you were born, even. That's because "sue each other into bankruptcy" doesn't mean a thing when you get to entities of that size and greed. That'll just mean one company becomes the sum total of two companies, just like what's been going on for decades. You'll wind up with a much, much bigger company that's much, much worse and much, much more resilient to being stopped. And once there's no more entities big enough to take THEM over...

Your blue-sky dreaming is commendable, sir or madam. And that's exactly the limit of what it is: "Blue-sky dreaming" and "commendable". No more.

Re:So, let me get this straight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40236919)

Possibly... Enron?

Re:So, let me get this straight... (1)

chrb (1083577) | about 2 years ago | (#40238169)

I don't mean "was bought out", "was merged", or "had its intellectual property sold off". I mean, straight-up died.

A bankruptcy without asset selling isn't likely to happen... Any company that is large will, by definition, have some assets (employees, customers, buildings, land) that are worth scooping up - so as it goes bankrupt, someone else will buy it out for those assets. But selling a corpse does not make a dead company live again. See Silicon Graphics, SCO Group etc.

Re:So, let me get this straight... (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#40235539)

Naw, they just think they can retire it and get compensated by Oracle at the same time. I really don't think they want to hang on to it.

Re:So, let me get this straight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40235543)

Itanium is HP's baby. It pretty much was from the beginning, as they were involved in it's early development. They pay Intel a lot of money to continue it's development.
HP killed two major, successful CPU arches to make way for Itanium. Their own in-house PA-RISC and Alpha, which came from Compaq (Who got it from DEC) I guess they wanted to get in on the ground floor with the hot new next gen chip from Intel. Probably seemed like a good idea at the time, be the premier vendor for Itanium, THE next gen chip to have. .. But you know history. Itanium was a blunder (Existing software ran like crap, new software much harder to write than promised), intel flubbed with the P4 as well. AMD made huge inroads with their own CPUs, then with x86-64. Intel was forced to adopt x64..

And now Itanium has become pretty much an HP-only affair. It's effectively their own in house tech again. PA-RISC all over again. Sure, itanium has it's merits but broad software and vendor support are not among them.

Re:So, let me get this straight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40236295)

I'm pretty sure it has to do with HP/UX sales. HP/UK is compiled for the Itanium... and is not ported to x64. They see this as anchoring the "big" HP server installations.

PA-RISC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40237525)

...actually was leading-edge in the 1990s. Their machines were rock-solid, except for some HP-UX bugs, maybe. So your negative tone is entirely unjustified. HP once was a cornerstone of American industry, until the MBA Rubbish invited MS and Intel to have a lunch in HP's customer base. All the Wintel crap started with Lew Platt and Fiorina definitely made it worse. These cowards would always put out the white flag if some shitty little amateur like Ellison or Gates came along with loud noises. They could have priced HPUX/PA RISC workstations like PCs, but that would have hurt some quarterly results, so they chose short term gain for long-term defeat to Wintel.

We, the customers, now have greatly inferior products. Yeah, the excellent work of American capitalism - let the inferior crap win.

Re:So, let me get this straight... (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 2 years ago | (#40236917)

The company that killed WebOS and seriously considered selling off their whole PC business line is desperate to hang on to their Itanium business?

They are desperate to hang on to the massive effective subsidy to their Itanium business that (by their characterization) Oracle agreed to provide for as long as possible. Since its pretty much the only thing that makes that business worth anything -- either where it is or even as an asset to be sold off.

Re:So, let me get this straight... (1)

linatux (63153) | about 2 years ago | (#40237879)

Without Itanium, they have nothing to run HP-UX on. Porting to x86 (seems to be well on the way) gives them a platform, but who would pay for it?
People will go to AIX/POWER or Linux. HP will be back selling overpriced ink & crappy printers.

HP is grasping at straws (4, Insightful)

gstrickler (920733) | about 2 years ago | (#40235663)

According the the linked articles (haven't read the actual suit/complaint), HP is claiming that Oracle committed to continued support at part of the settlement of HPs suit over Oracle hiring former HP CEO Mark Hurd [wikipedia.org] who resigned in the midst of a scandal for which HP would have almost certainly fired him.

There is no suggestion that HP paid Oracle any amount to develop or continue support of their software on HP's Itanium systems. So, if you cut through all the distractions and boil it down the the basics, HP is claiming the Oracle owes $500M to $4B for hiring Mark Hurd, the very same CEO HP would probably have fired.

Livermore acknowledged under questioning that Intel demanded $488 million over five years to keep up production of Itanium in a waning market for the chip. She said that to her knowledge, Oracle was never told about the arrangement with Intel.

Which helps explain why she "doesn't like" people who refer to it as Itanic.

Wow, that's the second time this week I've backed Oracle's position in a lawsuit (the other is against Lodsys, not the Google case)

but if Oracle (legally) said they would do it (1)

Chirs (87576) | about 2 years ago | (#40236805)

then they should either do what they said or else pay out whatever penalties were specified in the contract.

If there was no contract or nothing specified in it, then it goes to the courts...which is exactly what has happened.

Oracle's choice to settle the lawsuit over Hurd (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 2 years ago | (#40236839)

According the the linked articles (haven't read the actual suit/complaint), HP is claiming that Oracle committed to continued support at part of the settlement of HPs suit over Oracle hiring former HP CEO Mark Hurd who resigned in the midst of a scandal for which HP would have almost certainly fired him.

There is no suggestion that HP paid Oracle any amount to develop or continue support of their software on HP's Itanium systems. So, if you cut through all the distractions and boil it down the the basics, HP is claiming the Oracle owes $500M to $4B for hiring Mark Hurd, the very same CEO HP would probably have fired.

No, look, if Oracle wanted to deal with whatever they would have had to pay for hiring Hurd, they shouldn't have made a deal with HP to give something up to drop that lawsuit -- they should have just fought that lawsuit in court. Whatever they are now liable for as a result of breaching a contract with HP to continue support for Oracle DB on Itanium is something they owe for breaching that contract, not for hiring Hurd.

What's Wrong With Paying Intel ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40237569)

HP outsourced their CPU development and manufacturing to Intel. Everybody knew this. Now we know how expensive it exactly was. It does not give Larry $hit an excuse to fuck his most important business partner and their common customers.

Just after they bought SUN... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40235747)

For me, this is a very simple issue. I like to put the Itanium issue aside here. After all it's still the CPU HP uses in it's HP-UX and VMS boxes. It's just a successor to the PA-RISC that Oracle happily supported (and still does?). What really happened IMHO here was that Oracle bought SUN and discovered that they where nowhere near the top 3 in the *nix sales for their Database. So lets take the player at the top of that list (HP) and just drop them :) Oh, and to the customers using that platform, here is a nice offer on our SUN boxes for you to migrate to :)

Same is happening on the Linux front. We have Unbreakable Linux 6 (rebranded Unfakable Linux 6 (RHEL)) and Oracle supports that as a platform for the DB but the original (RHEL 6) is not supported, unless that has happened rather recently. Wonder why that is.

Re:Just after they bought SUN... (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 2 years ago | (#40236333)

Of course you do because it doesn't fit your conspiracy theory. When you look at the facts, non existent market-share for itanium, HP paying Intel to continue production of itanium, you understand why Oracle dropped it.

Why is Itanium still alive? (1)

LoRdTAW (99712) | about 2 years ago | (#40236351)

Its a question that has been kicking around in my head for some time but with x86 already pretty reliable, fast and cheap as hell, why is Itanium still around? I understand its pretty much limited to big iron systems where up time is critical for customers like banks and military but what is so special about its design?

Is there any technical advantage to the Itanium architecture that enables it to run more reliably than a Xeon or Opteron? The only feature I can recall is the ability to run two CPU's in lock-step for high reliability but I don't see why they couldn't introduce this feature in x86. Why hasn't x86 replaced it in big iron systems?

Re:Why is Itanium still alive? (2)

rgbrenner (317308) | about 2 years ago | (#40236563)

Itanium IS dead. HP pays Intel to continue producing it, but HP is virtually the only customer for it.

This is why Oracle is being sued. They agreed to support their DB on Itanium so long as Intel produced it... so HP pays Intel to continue producing it, and that forces Oracle to continue supporting it. In other words, if it weren't for HP's payments, Oracle would have been able to drop support for it years ago. HP is trying to do an end-run around the EOL in their contract.

Re:Why is Itanium still alive? (1)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#40237565)

The pig is running down the field jumping into the air and madly flapping it's legs to no avail. HP is yelling "MORE JATOS!!!".

legacy systems (1)

Chirs (87576) | about 2 years ago | (#40236819)

Likely there's a bunch of Itanium code out there and people don't want to spend the money rebuilding it for x86.

As Dead As The Mainframe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40237649)

..that is Itanium. This CPU contains lots of essential features for enterprise customers so that their systems have minimal downtime. That is why HP is still making excellent dollar with Itanium systems and why they can pay huge sums to Intel. All 100% legitimate if you don't accept the $hitty propaganda of that egotist tycoon Ellison who screws over tens of thousands of HP employees who made his success possible. The recent layoffs are directly related to HP losing one of their best partners. HP literally made this guy Ellison and now he thinks they can be doublecrossed in short order. And with them, doublecross HP/Oracle customers who have often spent dozens of millions on large Itanium-based systems.

Larry Ellison is very much like Pakistan - suck money out of America with the right hand and give weapons, ammo, food, shelter and intelligence to the Taleban with the left hand. I hope he will rot in hell for that 1% behaviour.

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