Ask Oracle and the company will tell you the only reason Intel hasn't pulled the plug on the Itanium is because Hewlett-Packard is making secret payments to chipzilla to keep the server chip alive. Oracle executives said as much in a recent court filing, which is in response to a larger lawsuit filed by HP accusing Oracle of violating an agreement between the two vendors by announcing back in March it would no longer develop software for Itanium.
AllThingsD, which first reported news of the filing, said the document is a routine part of the trial and discovery process of this ongoing case. Oracle contends that it needn't bother developing software for Itanium because it's planning to kill it off in favor of Xeon, anyway.
"HP has secretly contracted with Intel to keep churning out Itaniums so tha HP can maintain the appearance that a dead microprocessor is still alive. The whole thing is a remake of Weekend at Bernie's," Oracle wrote in its filing.
According to Oracle, HP loses a lot of money when customers switch to x86-based processors, and that's a "multi-billion dollar problem for HP." That's what ultimately motivated "HP to craft a top-secret plan to create a false perception that Itanium still had a future," Oracle said.
HP's PR department told AllThingsD in an email that Oracle's filing is just a delay tactic.
"The fact remains that Oracle’s decision to cut off support for Itanium was an illicit business strategy it conjured to try to force Itanium customers into buying Sun servers, and destroy choice in the marketplace. This filing is just the latest in its ongoing campaign to shore up its failing Sun server business and starve thousands of existing Itanium customers who rely on their Itanium processors for mission-critical activities," HP said.