By December 11, 2011

HP webOS made Open Source

HP_webos_OSS At the end of last week HP announced that they would be making webOS open source. Initial reactions were that this would be a really good thing and personally I was in agreement. As I said may times in review and on our podcast, I liked the operating webOS operating system that Palm/HP put on the Pre and Pixi but was massively unimpressed with the hardware so opening up webOS to other manufacturers sounds good, I’ve love to see a webOS HTC phone!

Indeed rumour has it that HTC are already working on a webOS handset.

So what’s the downside? Well one has to wonder what will happen to webOS. Will HP simply abandon the platform? That is perhaps the worry and the risk now as HP wont be making the money from the OS that they once were or had hoped to. Will they continue to love and support it?

In their press release, which you can see below, HP assures us that “HP plans to continue to be active in the development and support of webOS” but you have to wonder to what degree they will now do that.


HP today announced it will contribute the webOS software to the open source community.

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


Posted by: Matt

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More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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