This week HP announced that their mobile operating system webOS will be contributed to the open source community. While HP assures us that they will be active in the development and support of webOS in the future, they're now offering the operating system up to the "development power" of the open source community where they're sure both applications and web services will be developed en masse for the next generation of mobile devices. HP assures developers that webOS offers a number of benefits backed up by an easy to work with set of standard web technologies - in short, here you go world, have fun!
With this move webOS is moving into Android territory, with availability of the code now open to the world to use on a wide variety of devices as well as developers hoping to get in on the relative ground level of what now appears to be a very viable option for mobile devices. This after having seen a near complete collapse after HP deciding they'd no longer produce webOS-based hardware and selling their TouchPad stock out in a fire sale that saw the world clamoring for cheap slates. Now HP will make the underlying code of webOS available to the open source community under an open source license -- HP president and chief executive officer Meg Whitman noted the following at the announcement:
“webOS is the only platform designed from the ground up to be mobile, cloud-connected and scalable. By contributing this innovation, HP unleashes the creativity of the open source community to advance a new generation of applications and devices.” - Whitman
With this move, HP plans on hitting four key points for the future of webOS:
• 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
In addition to the underlying code, HP will contribute ENYO, the application framework for webOS, to the open source community in the near future. Those of you interested in getting in on this project by providing input and suggestions can do so at http://developer.palm.com/blog/ or right here in this post, of course. Looking bright for webOS!