Oracle stalls Itanium decision

Posted by Maria Petrou

Oracle has managed to delay its trial with HP, which is looking into whether it breached a contract over software support for servers running Intel's Itanium microprocessors.

The second phase of the trial was set to begin this week, to judge whether HP had a point in demanding compensation and determine how much the company would receive if Oracle was found guilty.

HP is gunning for a shed load of cash, with some sources saying that it wants about $500 million in damages.

The sorry tale began when Oracle decided it wanted to stop porting its software to HP's Itanium server platform, claiming it was a waste of time. At the time a California superior court judge ruled that Oracle had a binding contract with HP and ordered it to continue supporting Itanium.

HP had a good chance until Oracle threw a spanner in the works - by saying HP had violated the company's free speech rights.

According to Bloomberg, the trial has now been delayed until the courts look into these claims.  
HP has said the the moves are clearly a tactical attempt by Oracle to "extend the uncertainty in the marketplace”. It said the company had breached its contractual commitment to HP and ignored its repeated promises of support to shared customers for the purpose of driving hardware sales from Itanium to Sun servers. 

Considering Oracle has been banging on about free speech it has, so far, instead exercised its right to remain silent about this case.