BT

HP Has Decided to Open Source webOS

by Abel Avram on Dec 09, 2011 |

HP will open source webOS along with Enyo, and promises to remain active in its development.

HP has decided to open source their mobile operating system, webOS. They will not only make it available to the community, but they pledge to continue being active in its development and support. They also promise to make available Enyo, their HTML-based framework which allows applications to run in any WebKit browser. HP will reconsider creating mobile devices for webOS if it will get enough traction, saying: “We will explore the viability of putting webOS on devices, just as we do for other leading operating systems.”

HP has not detailed the roadmap for webOS, but plans to:

  • The goal of the project is to accelerate the open development of the webOS platform
  • HP will be an active participant and investor in the project
  • Good, transparent and inclusive governance to avoid fragmentation
  • Software will be provided as a pure open source project

This announcement is a complete overturn from previous plans of abandoning webOS or finding a buyer to pay for it. It seems that nobody was interested in buying it, or HP did not find someone willing to pay as much as they asked for.

webOS’ road has been pretty bumpy so far. HP bought the OS from Palm in April 2010 for $1.2B and invested a lot in its development, culminating with the launch of TouchPad which turned out to be a fiasco. As a result, HP decided to get rid of webOS, and replaced their CEO. The tablet eventually disappeared from shelves after a massive price cut.

It is interesting to see how webOS will fare in the future, if it will get enough attention from the community and from tablet/smartphone manufacturers. It is also interesting to see if it will be a contender for Android. HP promises a “transparent and inclusive governance”, alluding to Google’s approach of developing Android behind close doors and then releasing the code. Will HP’s more open approach that is promised work in a very dynamic market when there seems to be no time for long discussions required by a truly open governance process? Time will tell. 

Hello stranger!

You need to Register an InfoQ account or to post comments. But there's so much more behind being registered.

Get the most out of the InfoQ experience.

Tell us what you think

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Email me replies to any of my messages in this thread
Community comments

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Email me replies to any of my messages in this thread

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Email me replies to any of my messages in this thread

Discuss

Educational Content

General Feedback
Bugs
Advertising
Editorial
InfoQ.com and all content copyright © 2006-2013 C4Media Inc. InfoQ.com hosted at Contegix, the best ISP we've ever worked with.
Privacy policy
BT