Tong Zhang
(Senior Editor)
12/09/11 06:49 PM
HP to Contribute webOS to Open Source

We finally have some news on what HP will do with the webOS, and the news released from HP today seems to be a brilliant move. HP today announced it will contribute the webOS software to the open source community to enable creativity of the community to accelerate the next-generation web-centric platform. Here are the details:

HP plans to continue to be active in the development and support of webOS. By combining the innovative webOS platform with the development power of the open source community, there is the opportunity to significantly improve applications and web services for the next generation of devices.

webOS offers a number of benefits to the entire ecosystem of web applications. For developers, applications can be easily built using standard web technologies. In addition, its single integrated stack offers multiplatform portability. For device manufacturers, it provides a single web-centric platform to run across multiple devices. As a result, the end user benefits from a fast, immersive user experience.

"webOS is the only platform designed from the ground up to be mobile, cloud-connected and scalable," said Meg Whitman, HP president and chief executive officer. "By contributing this innovation, HP unleashes the creativity of the open source community to advance a new generation of applications and devices."

HP will make the underlying code of webOS available under an open source license. Developers, partners, HP engineers and other hardware manufacturers can deliver ongoing enhancements and new versions into the marketplace.

HP will engage the open source community to help define the charter of the open source project under a set of operating principles:

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
HP also will contribute ENYO, the application framework for webOS, to the community in the near future along with a plan for the remaining components of the user space.

Beginning today, developers and customers are invited to provide input and suggestions at


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(Moderator and writer)
12/09/11 06:54 PM
Re: HP to Contribute webOS to Open Source

I don't understand what this means in terms of hardware. Is HP saying,

1) We're resuming making WebOS devices,

2) We're still done making WebOS devices, and the open-source project will only be for legacy users, or

3) We're still done making WebOS devices, but we think the open-source project will be able to run on someone else's hardware (hard to imagine what exactly)


(Head Honcho)
12/09/11 06:58 PM
Re: HP to Contribute webOS to Open Source

It doesn't say anything at all about HP making hardware. It just says they'll continue to evolve and support the OS.

If other manufacturers jump on webOS because it's now completely free (no strings attached) and a very polished and slick OS, then I'd bet HP would start making devices again. This way, others can grow the platform into something popular enough that HP might want to make hardware again. We'll have to see if Acer, Asus, Samsung and others decide to make webOS tablets or smartphones in the future.

(Moderator and writer)
12/09/11 11:06 PM
Re: HP to Contribute webOS to Open Source

HP has clarified their future plans here - but frankly, I find it hard to believe that HP really knows what tablets they will be making in 2013, when it seems like they barely know what tablets they will be making next week.

(Head Honcho)
12/10/11 03:45 AM
Re: HP to Contribute webOS to Open Source

That's easy, they clearly know they won't be making any tablets next week. But they will be having another TouchPad fire sale next week (Sunday to be exact) .

To be more serious, that's HP's way of saying they will not make tablets running webOS in 2012, and they're probably going to see how the newly open source ecosystem evolves before they do anything in 2013.

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