Oracle's choice to nix Itanium support hurts HP sales

Hewlett-Packard CEO Leo Apotheker acknowledges that Oracle's decision earlier this year is scaring away customers.

Larry Dignan

Hewlett-Packard and Oracle are at odds over Itanium support and the former appears to be taking the body blows.

In June, HP filed a civil lawsuit in the Superior Court of California in Santa Clara to force Oracle to support the Itanium platform. In March, Oracle had said it would stop supporting HP's Itanium platform because Intel planned to shut it down in the long run. HP and Intel both denied Oracle's claims. The two parties last month exchanged courtroom jabs over Itanium support.

Now it appears that Oracle's Itanium decisions are impacting sales of HP's mission-critical systems. From a buyer perspective, putting off a purchase makes sense. Why would an Oracle shop buy an Itanium based-system if support was uncertain going forward?

Yesterday, HP CEO Leo Apotheker--amid a massive corporate revamp--acknowledged that the Itanium flap was hurting business. Apotheker said:

Revenue in business critical systems declined 9 percent year over year. This decline is sharper than expected as our ability to close deals has been impacted by Oracle's decision and orders are being delayed or canceled. We are working diligently to enforce the commitments that Oracle has made to our customers and to HP.

Apotheker referenced Oracle a few times in regards to Itanium. He also said that HP was taking Oracle to court over "anti-customer behavior." It's unclear where this Itanium spat goes ultimately, but for now the flap is freezing sales of Itanium-based systems.

This story was originally published at ZDNet's Between the Lines