HP keeps webOS alive as an open source project

By on December 9, 2011, 3:00 PM

After months of uncertainty HP has finally come to a decision on the future of webOS: the operating system will live on as open source. Suddenly this weekend's final $99 TouchPad fire sale is looking more tempting. In a press release announcing the news, HP said it will continue to be active in the development and support of the mobile platform, and detailed a few operating principles to get the project on track like pursuing "good, transparent and inclusive governance to avoid fragmentation."

"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 also will contribute ENYO, the application framework for webOS, to the open source community. The move could have an interesting effect on the market as smartphone manufacturers look to diversify away from Android. Most will probably take a wait-and-see approach, however, as Windows Phone is currently the more likely candidate to take off as the No. 3 smartphone platform. The good news is that HP has already put enough webOS devices out there to get open source developers interested in tinkering with the platform.

HP has previously said that there's a great deal of interest from manufacturers on the platform. Although it would seem the company couldn't get a reasonable offer for it, at least they are giving it a chance to take off on its own with the help of the open source community. It remains to be seen if developers respond to this last ditch effort to keep webOS alive or if the operating system will continue to fade into irrelevancy.

User Comments: 7

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SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

That is pretty cool. I'd like to get one now, but I don't know if I want one bad enough to go through the ebay effort of getting one

MrAnderson said:

This is soooo hot! I'm crsuhing on HP right now for such a wonderful gift.

monkeychef23 monkeychef23 said:

Another fire sale is going to be on sunday

Leeky Leeky said:

That is pretty cool. I'd like to get one now, but I don't know if I want one bad enough to go through the ebay effort of getting one

I'm hoping to grab one in the firesale.

You know you wanna..... Besides, CygenMod (or whatever there name is) are currently in alpha build with Android Ice Cream Sandwich for it, so definitely worth the firesale price in my opinion.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

Looking at their ebay store, I'm unsure of what category it will be listed in. Will they make a tablet one for the sale or will it be under Laptops? I imagine these things will be gone within seconds, so if I'm going to plan on getting one searching around for the right category might be the deal breaker.

Edit: PC Mag says it will be under Laptops. But if you go to their refurb section they have an 'Other' which is where I'd guess it will be.

Leeky Leeky said:

The general consensus is it will be in the Laptop section. I didn't notice they had a refurb section though.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

I assume that they will be in the refurb section under laptops then since these are supposed to be refurb units. Maybe I'll end up with 3 tabs open and auto refreshing every 10s in Opera.

Edit: Actually going through refurb and then laptops is the same as going to laptops, and those laptops are refurb. The Touchpads are in there now but not at cheap prices.

Edit2: I found the Touchpad no problem, but buying it was the prob. Ebay's pages for that were loading so slow, I actually had 3 tabs open on a wireless laptop and a wired desktop trying to purchase. I'd alternate stopping and tryign to reload the tabs. It was nearly 15 minutes after the item appeared before I got to the checkout, and it was another 15 or so after that before I was able to actually enter the checking out process. I got hung up because HP required a phone number on my ebay account (even though I have one on paypal, which they also required). By the time their pages loaded to let me fix the phone it was too late. My other tabs said it was gone, but one tab had me going through paypal. But in the end it was all for not. Didn't get it. Luckily I didn't have too much else better to do so I'm not terribly bummed about my effort and not getting one, and I also am not sure I really need one, even for that price. I am a little disappointed though.

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