HP to open source webOS, no hardware plans or partners announced | webOS Nation
 
 

HP to open source webOS, no hardware plans or partners announced

by Derek Kessler Fri, 09 Dec 2011 1:50 pm EST

HP today announced their plans to contribute the webOS operating system to the open source community. While HP still has not announced any plans for new webOS devices, they are committing to furthering the development of the webOS platform through collaboration with open source developers. In today’s press statement HP CEO Meg Whitman said that by open sourcing webOS, “HP unleashes the creativity of the open source community to advance a new generation of applications and devices.”

HP plans to make the underlying code of webOS available as part of an open source license, allowing anybody from a homebrew developer to a manufacturer to pick it up and make their own enhancements and versions. HP will also “engage the open source community” about the rules of the webOS open source project, and laying out a few promises of their own.

  • 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 intends to contribute the Enyo application framework to the open source community in the near future. So at least that will have the opportunity to live on.

Notably absent from the press release is any mention of hardware, either from HP or possible partners. The open sourcing of webOS brings to a close months of speculation and hand-wringing about what HP would do with the operating system after former CEO Leo Apotheker cancelled hardware development. It’s clear that HP’s conclusion was that it would cost too much for them to try hardware on their own again, while simultaneously they were unable to find a suitor willing to meet HP’s price and conditions for a sale of webOS.

Press release is after the break.  

HP to Contribute webOS to Open Source

HP to enable creativity of the community to accelerate the next-generation web-centric platform

PALO ALTO, Calif., Dec. 9, 2011 – 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 http://developer.palm.com/blog/.

About HP

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