Not that I'm a big fan of Carly, but you can't necessarily blame her for that. The decision for HP to go with Intel's fancy new solution was made in era of Lew Platt being CEO, well before Fiorina took over. I was at HP in the mid-90s and recall seeing roadmaps that showed HP's UNIX solutions all being based on the super-amazing upcoming new Intel architecture well before the end of the decade. PA-RISC was old and busted, and Intel had the new hotness just around the corner. The suits just couldn't say enough about what an unstoppable juggernaut Intel's new baby was going to be. According to them, it was going to solve everything, do everything, and pretty much take over the world.
I left in 97, but I am sure those roadmaps had to be quietly adjusted each time Intel's new chip was delayed (over and over). It was well past 2000 when the thing finally came out, and in the end, it was a huge disappointment (dare I say disaster) after PA-RISC had been sailing along smoothly for so long. The perf was terrible, the instruction set was a mess, and pretty much the entire industry did their best to avoid it. I'm surprised it took this long for Intel to throw in the towel on it.
PA-RISC really was a great series of CPUs. It's a shame it had to die. At one point I believe it actually surpassed the (at the time) much-vaunted DEC Alpha as the fastest thing on the market, if only for a little while. Itanium seemed designed solely to kill off the x86 CPU clone market. Intel came up with a completely new instruction set, and patented it so there would be no clones. Actually making a good chip did not seem to be a consideration.
Good riddance to Itanium, and a bittersweet farewell and R.I.P. to PA-RISC.