HP giving webOS a second life as an Open Source Project!

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Like what I mentioned on my previous article at Technorati “if HP really wants to show that they want to keep webOS an “open” platform, the only way to go is to make webOS available under a free and open source software license.” and it looks like webOS will live on as a open source project.

In an open letter, HP’s (almost) 3-month old CEO Meg Whitman said “Today, we announced that HP will contribute our webOS software to the open source community and support its development going forward. We believe that this is the best way to ensure the benefits of webOS are accessible to the largest possible ecosystem.”

So a few question pop up after reading the email and PR from HP.

  • Going open source, will they also donate those 1,500 patents that HP acquired when they bought Palm for $1.2 Billion or HP will still hold-on to those patents for the time being?
  • Will they require manufacturer’s to meet certain criteria in order for them to use webOS or will be like Android all over again (from dirt cheap to umm.. over-the-top specs)?

These are all “what-if” and “what-not” and there are other question that will be asked to HP but will all be answered as HP continue to move forward and just what I said on my piece at Technorati “if done properly webOS may rival android as the default choice of mobile OS for handset maker.” and it looks like coders will be busy this holiday season.

You can read the copy of the email and full PR after the break.

EMAIL

From: CEO – Meg Whitman
Sent: Friday, December 09, 2011 2:03 PM
Subject: webOS to be contributed to the open source community

Meg Whitman
CEO

TO/ All Employees

SUBJECT/ webOS to be contributed to the open source community

Today, we announced that HP will contribute our webOS software to the open source community and support its development going forward. We believe that this is the best way to ensure the benefits of webOS are accessible to the largest possible ecosystem.

Since we announced the discontinuation of our webOS devices last August, the executive team has been working to determine the best path forward for this highly respected software. We looked at all the options in the market today and we see a clear need for a platform that is both open and has a single integrated stack.

webOS is the only platform designed from the ground up to be mobile, cloud-connected, and scalable. By providing webOS to the open source community and other hardware vendors we have the potential to fundamentally change the landscape.

HP engineers, partners, other developers and hardware manufacturers will be able to contribute to the development of webOS. Together, we have an opportunity to make it the foundation of a new generation of devices, applications and services to address the rapidly evolving demands of both consumers and enterprises.

I would like to thank the webOS team for continuing your efforts under very difficult circumstances during these last couple of months. Your dedication is very much appreciated.

This is a very positive move for the development of our people, our software and HP overall.

We strongly believe that the best days for webOS are still ahead.

Best,

Meg

Full Press Release

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/.

Source: TechCrunch | Engadget

Last modified: December 10, 2011

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