HP has just scored a major win with its lawsuit against Oracle, focused around Oracle’s pulling of support for Intel Itanium-based products. You might recall that last spring, Oracle pulled all software support for Itanium processors and then went on to claim that the architecture was nearing “end of life” – a statement Intel CEO Paul Otellini quickly shot down.
The real reason for Oracle’s decision, rumored at the time, was that by pulling its support for Itanium (potentially breaching a contract), which HP offers to its enterprise customers, Oracle’s own products would no longer have a major competitor. Well, based on this court ruling, that’s exactly what Oracle’s move was.
The court has thus ruled that Oracle must support Itanium processors for as long as HP sells servers with them. As Real World Tech’s David Kanter surmises, Oracle could pull other stunts to hurt HP’s bottom-line, such as withholding vital patches for as long as possible, but given the company’s prior behavior, the courts might have instated strict rules.
Ultimately, this ruling is great for HP and Oracle’s other competitors, and horrible for Oracle, which will also have to pay HP for lost earnings – a figure which will come at a later date after expert research has concluded.
The moral of the story? Think twice before you want to screw over your competitor.