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H-P: Oracle Violated Contract in Server Dispute

Oracle Corp violated a clear contract with Hewlett-Packard Co when it decided it would no longer make new versions of its database software compatible with HP's Itanium-based servers, a lawyer for HP said in court.The two technology companies faced off on Monday for opening statements in a bitter lawsuit over Oracle's decision to end support for Itanium.The trial, in which HP seeks up to $4 billion in damages, comes just days after Oracle lost a separate high-stakes case against Google Inc over smartphone technology.Oracle decided to stop developing software for use with Itanium last year, saying Intel made it clear that the chip was nearing the end of its life and was shifting its focus to its x86 microprocessor.But HP said it had an agreement with Oracle that support for Itanium would continue, without which the equipment using the chip would become obsolete. HP said that commitment was affirmed when it settled an earlier lawsuit over Oracle's hiring of ousted HP chief executive Mark...

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