Row between HP and Oracle escalates -

Maker of expensive printer ink HP has sued Oracle over its decion to abandon Itanium support.

Last week we reported that lawyers from HP had dashed off an angry missive to Oracle to force the world's No. 3 software maker to reverse its decision to discontinue software development on Intel's Itanium.

HP's chief spokesman Bill Wohl said that the silence from Oracle is deafening and he was disappointed that he has been forced to sue. After all it would be nice if a stiff letter from a lawyer could sort everything out.

According to Reuters,  HP's case against Oracle will be heard in the Superior Court of the State of California, in the County of Santa Clara.

Oracle has replied that HP's claims Oracle breached an agreement to maintain Itanium was "not true" and any lawsuit is "utterly malicious and meritless.".

The current row between two former allies started in March when Oracle decided to pull the plug on its support for Itanium.

It claimed that Intel made it clear the chip was nearing the end of its life and the company's focus was on its X86 microprocessor. This was something that Intel later denied.

Intel Chief Financial Officer Stacy Smith said that it was committed to Itanium and would continue to invest in it along with its X86 server processors.

But Oracle's decision has been dubbed as "anti-customer" behaviour by HP who claims that punters had made a huge investment in the Itanium chip. It thinks that Oracle is trying to prop up its own chips.