HP To Release webOS As Open Source - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Software // Operating Systems
News
12/9/2011
04:53 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

HP To Release webOS As Open Source

CEO Meg Whitman even suggests there may be another webOS tablet in two years.

My Mistake: 10 CIOs Share Do-Over Worthy Moments
Slideshow: My Mistake: 10 CIOs Share Do-Over Worthy Moments
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
When former HP CEO Leo Apotheker said in August that HP would exit the personal computer business and stop manufacturing its TouchPad tablet, webOS appeared to be doomed. The mobile operating system, regarded as innovative by many developers, just didn't look like it could realistically carve out a market for itself in an environment dominated by iOS, Android, Blackberry OS, and Windows Phone, among others.

A month later, Apotheker was ousted and replaced by former eBay CEO Meg Whitman. As CEO of HP, Whitman promptly reversed course and said HP would continue to sell personal computers, owing to the ancillary benefits of participating in the low-margin PC business and to the cost of divestiture.

Whitman withheld passing sentence on webOS until Friday when she set the project free. HP, she said, will make webOS available to the open source community.

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

Google's Android, Nokia's MeeGo, and Intel's Tizen presumably are not sufficiently mobile, cloud-connected, or scalable to meet Whitman's criteria.

[ HP Will Keep PC Division. Find out why. ]

The terms under which webOS will be released are not yet clear. Dion Almaer, vice president of mobile architecture at Walmart.com and the former director of developer relations at webOS creator Palm, noted in a blog post that HP's announcement doesn't specify whether every part of webOS--from low-level embedded code to libraries like Enyo and images and assets--will be released as open source. (HP says it will release Enyo, the application development framework, with webOS.) He also notes that the open source license for webOS has not yet been specified.

Matthew McNulty, director of developer tools at HP/Palm, suggests via Twitter that the Apache 2.0 license is being considered.

There's also the issue of what HP's promise to remain involved in the project and to offer "good, transparent and inclusive governance to avoid fragmentation," really means, observes Almaer.

One thing it might mean is that HP, despite having discontinued its webOS-based TouchPad earlier this year, might make another webOS tablet in 2013, or so Whitman told AllThingsD. As for next year, HP will be focused on Windows 8 tablets.

The Enterprise Connect conference program covers the full range of platforms, services, and applications that comprise modern communications and collaboration systems. It happens March 25-29 in Orlando, Fla. Find out more.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of the Cloud Report
As the use of public cloud becomes a given, IT leaders must navigate the transition and advocate for management tools or architectures that allow them to realize the benefits they seek. Download this report to explore the issues and how to best leverage the cloud moving forward.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll