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WebOS fate decided - open source but no hardware

Posted: , by Scott H.

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WebOS fate decided - open source but no hardware
After an all-hands-on-deck meeting, HP has decided the fate of WebOS. HP is going to open source the mobile operating system. HP also promised to be an active investor and participant in the new open source project, although no new hardware using the OS is scheduled at this time.

This is both an ending and a beginning for WebOS, which HP purchased as part of their acquisition of Palm a year and a half ago. HP has transitioned through three CEOs in that time period, and WebOS has seen varying levels of management support. Perhaps as a result of this on-again off-again interest, phones like the HP Pre3 never got traction in the market, and the TouchPad tablet failed to attract customers until HP held a fire sale to clear out inventory after announcing the end of their involvement in WebOS mobile devices.

It will be interesting to see if the open sourcing of WebOS attracts new interest from OEMs. HP had previously considered either licensing the OS or selling it off, but failed to garner enough interest to do so. HP could in theory pursue the same model as Google has with Android, although that requires a substantial investment in software development, and it’s not clear that a hardware company like HP has could leverage this business model the way Google has.

Any developers or WebOS fans out there that are hoping to tinker with the OS once it’s open sourced?

source: HP via Engadget

17 Comments
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posted on 09 Dec 2011, 13:51 2

1. antifanboy (banned) (Posts: 67; Member since: 06 Dec 2011)


This is pretty cool.

posted on 09 Dec 2011, 13:56 2

2. squallz506 (banned) (Posts: 1075; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


this will make it easier for developers. i think ill pick up one of the refurbed ones for $99. the hardware is nothing special, but a 10.1" dual-core android (hopefully ICS soon) tab for $99.

posted on 09 Dec 2011, 17:24

15. Lucas777 (Posts: 2121; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)


hm idk.. we might have to wait for it to get its open source update until we see android.. cause touchdroid fell apart and idk if cyanogen is makin progress

posted on 09 Dec 2011, 19:16

16. protozeloz (Posts: 5369; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


They are CM9 is already on the works based on CM7 progress

posted on 09 Dec 2011, 13:56

3. Joshing4fun (Posts: 1046; Member since: 13 Aug 2010)


I'm not touching anything that has to do with WebOS. Way to unstable. (The business side of it)

posted on 09 Dec 2011, 14:06 1

4. droiddomination (Posts: 203; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


hp touchpad on the ground! i ain't part of your system! hot dog man!

posted on 09 Dec 2011, 14:44 2

6. ledbetterp3 (Posts: 466; Member since: 31 Aug 2011)


I don't think many people know what your talking about, besides that, that was unfunny...

posted on 09 Dec 2011, 14:18 6

5. LewsTherin006 (Posts: 140; Member since: 18 Nov 2011)


This is the best thing that Hp could have done. at least its still alive and they still have a chance to make money off of it.

posted on 09 Dec 2011, 14:45

7. ledbetterp3 (Posts: 466; Member since: 31 Aug 2011)


I agree.

posted on 09 Dec 2011, 16:00 1

11. JeffdaBeat (unregistered)


At this point, I agree...but I think it's too late for WebOS. HP hasn't really instilled confidence in the OS itself so why should developers? Palm should have done this from the start...but I guess we will see what happens.

posted on 09 Dec 2011, 14:49

8. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5542; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


How is HP going to make money off open-sourcing WebOS? The only way they make money is if an OEM licenses it or they get consulting/support $. WebOS doesn't have the installed base footprint for consulting/support. It would seem that OEMs would be more interested in Android than WebOS.

posted on 09 Dec 2011, 15:19

9. snowgator (Posts: 3188; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


Depends on what the long term plan for WeBOS is. And if HP has the stomach to see it through. This is no short term solution. I would support WeBOS if the products were there. We will have to see. I am open minded, but not really all that hopeful.

posted on 09 Dec 2011, 15:22

10. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


I think other than a company like LG or HTC buying it and trying to "make it their own", this was among the best outcomes for it. Hopefully they put some $$ into development for it and we start to see HTC and Samsung WebOS phones.
Put webOS on a SGS2, I bet it would sell quite well compared to previous webOS phones.

posted on 09 Dec 2011, 16:12

12. MeDo_0 (Posts: 5; Member since: 28 Nov 2011)


I like the idea. I used to have a palm pre the UI was decent and wasnt all that bad of course it could of used alot of help. apps and what not,but the multi tasking was great and things flowed decently...most of the time. The hardware was garbage though.. had to replace the phone 7 times!!!! hopefully developers can bring webos to life.there is still potential for the OS...

posted on 09 Dec 2011, 16:33 1

13. jibraihimi (Posts: 663; Member since: 29 Nov 2011)


Since samsung is already on the Android ship and it's also developing it's own OS Bada, so there is less chance they are going to tinker with WebOS, Because they have also tied up with Intel to develop next version of Meego, 'Tizen'; so this virtually rule them out of WebOS development............ I thnk Sony or HTC are more better suited to tinker with WebOS........ Sony could use it to expand it smartphone portfolio which only consists of Android Phones; and HTC could use it to develop an OS which has Their Sense as core feature of the OS, and not just as skin over the OS; this will help HTC to build smartphones which don't lag due to their Sense skin.............. And there are some more contenders who would love to use webos as OS for their Handsets, like Panasonic, LG, Zte, Huawei..............let's see wat will happen in future..............
And if my English is funny or bad then plzzz don't take out your knife for dissecting it, as English is not my first language, and above all I'm not posting a comment in my English class, but on PA............ :)

posted on 09 Dec 2011, 16:38

14. Le05K (Posts: 18; Member since: 04 Nov 2011)


I hope HP will day as palm one day as I was heartbroken when they bought palm and start to dig the grave for it the webOS. everything that HP touches get F**UP I have two laptops from HP and they bought are crap as the hardware goes. So thank you HP for killing webOS, long live whatever.

posted on 10 Dec 2011, 05:07

17. Bluesky02 (Posts: 1439; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


Well this was unexpected. If open source developers embraced this, its gonna be a gamechanger. From today till Jun 2012 things are gonna change a lot.

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