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Oracle pulls out of Intel's Itanium server processor

March 24, 2011 | 10:04 am

Oracle is stopping development of all of its software on Intel's Itanium software processor after concluding that "Itanium is nearing the end of its life."

Starting something of a furor online, the move, announced late Tuesday, directly contradicts recent pronouncements from Intel about its commitment to the Itanium processor family used in high-performance computing systems and found in a large number of customers' data centers.

"After multiple conversations with Intel senior management Oracle has decided to discontinue all software development on the Intel Itanium microprocessor," Oracle said in a statement. "Intel management made it clear that their strategic focus is on their x86 microprocessor and that Itanium was nearing the end of its life."

"Both Microsoft and Red Hat have already stopped developing software for Itanium," Oracle's statement continues. "HP CEO Leo Apotheker made no mention of Itanium in his long and detailed presentation on the future strategic direction of HP."

Red Hat first pulled out of Itanium in 2009 after saying that its Enterprise Linux 6 operating system, released last summer, would not be supported on Itanium processors. Microsoft announced last April that it too was stopping developing software supported on Itanium.

Oracle's decision affects not only Intel but also Hewlett-Packard, which runs its HP-UX Unix operating system on Itanium Integrity servers.

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