After months of doubt surrounding webOS after the disastrous attempt to spin off the Personal Systems Group earlier this year, HP has confirmedÂ in a press release that it will open source webOS and make it available under a yet to be determined open source license.Â In addition, HP will also continue investment into and invest development resources into webOS, as well as plans to open source the Enyo application framework under the same conditions.
HP’s foray into webOS was not without its faults, as not long after HP purchased Palm, it lost a year of product development time as the integration of Palm into HP led to products in the Palm Pre 2, Palm Veer 4G, and the stillborn Palm Pre 3. The TouchPad was released to great fanfare earlier this year with pricing inline with the iPad, but not without criticism as the tablet was seen as overpriced compared to its closest competitors with below average performance and a dearth of application support in comparison.
With the lifeline of open source being thrown to webOS, it remains to be seen what the immediate future holds in terms of support as the TouchPad is expected to receive its latest update in webOS 3.0.5 soon, though any major milestone updates are yet to be confirmed, if in development at all.
The same situation exists with hardware, as the team responsible for webOS hardware development was disbanded in the wake of July’s shock announcement that webOS hardware would be discontinued immediately, which led to the August TouchPad firesale and will end with this weekend’s refurb firesale on HP’s ebay store. Continue reading for HP’s plan for webOS going forward.
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