HP cuts its losses, makes webOS open source

Hewlett-Packard on Friday announced that is is contributing its webOS platform to the open source software community. The company confirmed that it would not build any new webOS hardware for the time being, though it said it would continue to actively develop and support the operating system. “WebOS is the only platform designed from the ground up to be mobile, cloud-connected and scalable,” said HP CEO Meg 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.” HP announced in August that it was discontinuing its webOS hardware efforts and now, more than three months later, the company has finally decided the fate of the platform. HP took ownership of webOS as part of its $1.2 billion acquisition of Palm in July 2010. The company’s full press release follows below.

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 athttp://developer.palm.com/blog/.

blog comments powered by Disqus