HP makes webOS Open Source

By on December 11, 2011
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Challenging Android and iOS.

When Hewlett Packard acquired Palm Inc. for $1.2 billion back in April 2010, they also got webOS as part of the deal. The OS has since appeared in various Palm, and then later HP smartphones, but it was the death of HP’s TouchPad tablet that pretty much brought the webOS platform down to it’s knees. All HP devices running WebOS were discontinued and the fate of the fabled OS has been in limbo since August of this year.

Over the weekend, though, HP finally revealed what is to become of there much lauded OS, with webOS now going open source. While HP will in effect keep the patents for webOS with themselves, the whole platform is now open source with the ability for not only developers to create (or port) apps over, but also for OEMs like Samsung and HTC to release customized webOS devices.

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.”

While the creative push is in the hand of the developers, HP will maintain a sort of governance body to avoid fragmenting the OS, as is the problem with Android. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise as webOS starts getting ported to various Android tablets and smartphones, even the Kindle Fire.

Developers can send in their suggestions to http://developer.palm.com/blog/.


From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

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