It didn't sound like a big deal: Oracle
Oracle says it didn't see a commitment to the technology from Intel, and other enterprise software giants had already gone there … and then left. Microsoft
Itanium co-developer Hewlett-Packard
From that perspective, Oracle's little announcement made perfect sense, and it shouldn't have raised anyone's hackles.
Alas, Intel and HP don't see it that way. Intel immediately reaffirmed its Itanium plans and highlighted product plans two generations into the future. "Intel's work on Intel Itanium processors and platforms continues unabated with multiple generations of chips currently in development and on schedule," Otellini said in a statement.
Alright, so maybe Oracle jumped the gun. But wait, there's more!
HP crossed its arms, wagged an angry finger, and started calling Oracle names. "Oracle continues to show a pattern of anti-customer behavior as they move to shore up their failing Sun server business," said server chief Dave Donatelli. HP proudly claims an Itanium roadmap stretching a full decade into the future.
Oracle's actions could cost its customers "hundreds of millions of dollars in lost productivity," according to HP, though HP will be happy to provide Oracle support on its HP-UX Itanium servers for a very long time.
In that light, Oracle comes across as a malicious imp throwing trouble HP's way, just because the companies are now direct competitors. And HP becomes a vengeful, jilted partner who takes even a small slight as a personal and serious insult.
In the grand scheme of things, none of this matters: Itanium is a tiny part of Intel's revenue. HP itself already sells big-iron servers with Intel's Xeon chips or even MIPS Technologies
So HP vents a little steam, Oracle will ignore it, and perhaps Intel takes this opportunity to sell Itanium to its staunchest defender, HP. And that's the end of that.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. Intel and Microsoft are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. The Fool owns shares of and has bought calls on Intel. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Intel. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. The Fool owns shares of Microsoft, and Oracle. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.