Oracle guts HP’s high end by proxy

Opinion: Press releases, ulterior motives, and plausible deniability

HP logoIt looks like Oracle (ORCL) is hell-bent on alienating all their friends and allies while protecting their own faltering hardware. It is nothing more than a margin extraction mechanism, but did you expect anything else from the company?

The short story is, Oracle put out a beautifully twisted attack piece on Itanium, Intel, and by direct statements instead of the usual inference, HP. They said that they are not going to develop for the Itanium platform any more, and Intel responded with a statement that can be summed up by,”We still love Itanium, and send all seven buyers cards on their birthday if they registered for the free ice cream cone on your birthday if you buy a 4+ socket Itanium box promotion. We didn’t have to do that, or buy cards that are on that heavy paper!”. Both press releases are hilarious, but have essentially nothing to do with the actual war being waged. It is all about ulterior motives, and those are not mentioned anywhere.

OK, we may be exaggerating a bit when we used ‘friends’ as a plural term earlier, but Oracle does have a lot of customers and companies that are listed under the ‘partner’ banner on their site, so it may just be a semantics problem. Lets get PR on that issue ASAP to help people rightthink, it sure beats having them work with standards bodies. Barring that, Oracle lawyers will be free from the Google suit any decade now.

Getting back to the releases, Oracle stopped making software for Itanium, but will continue to support existing versions of their software, and presumably existing customers as well. <sarcasm>Given Itanium’s huge marketshare and industry momentum</sarcasm>, coupled with the fact that both Microsoft and Redhat stopped developing for it, well, you knew this was coming. The company also points out that HP, which sells the overwhelming majority of Itanium systems, probably 90%+, didn’t mention it in the latest company direction statement. HP didn’t mention loving puppies in that statement either, but I am sure they do.

Every one of these things is pretty much an ulterior motive disguised as plausible deniability though. The main reason that Oracle is not making Itanium software any more seems pretty obvious, right? Low unit sales, high development costs, and all the other reasons are all there, but they have been there for a decade now, and it is quite unlikely that Larry Ellison woke up one morning, and while churning though his old emails, noticed the numbers on Itanium, Oracle sales on Itanium, or related costs. He knew.

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and SemiAccurate.com. SemiAccurate.com is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of SemiAccurate.com, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also a council member with Gerson Lehman Group. FullyAccurate
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