WebOS to go open source

Very soon, developers will be able to access the WebOS operating system under an open source license agreement. Today, WebOS's current owners, HP, announced the decision to release the operating system under such a program, saying, "Developers, partners, HP engineers and other hardware manufacturers can deliver ongoing enhancements and new versions into the marketplace."

HP first bought the WebOS operating system when it acquired the Palm smartphone company in 2010. In July 2011 it released the WebOS powered HP TouchPad tablet. However, the product didn't sell well, even with a massive marketing campaign by HP and in mid-August the company shut down production of the TouchPad and announced it would no longer develop hardware based on the WebOS operating system.

Meg Whitman, the current CEO of HP, is quoted in the press release as saying, "WebOS is the only platform designed from the ground up to be mobile, cloud-connected and scalable. By contributing this innovation, HP unleashes the creativity of the open source community to advance a new generation of applications and devices."

HP said it will be both an investor and an active participant in the WebOS open source project. It added, "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."

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Has anyone ever successfully found a way to deploy something other than iOS to the iPhone/iPad? Would love to be able to dual boot iOS, Android, WebOS, Windows8, etc on the one device. Would finally feel like there's some equilibrium in the mobile world

I think Android was running on iPhone 2G and 3G's at some point. But it was very unstable at the time, and I haven't heard much of it since.

Simon said,
I think Android was running on iPhone 2G and 3G's at some point. But it was very unstable at the time, and I haven't heard much of it since.

Indeed it was. iOS 5 was jailbroken yesterday I think in related news.

Well...I can maybe hope for some upgrades for my Palm Pixi+ since it is going to be opensourced. HP dropped the 2.x version of the OS for those devices claiming it wouldn't work, but hackers have already made it work pretty well. I have one more year of the contract with that phone so have to wait it out until I can get a different device.

Medfordite said,
Well...I can maybe hope for some upgrades for my Palm Pixi+ since it is going to be opensourced. HP dropped the 2.x version of the OS for those devices claiming it wouldn't work, but hackers have already made it work pretty well. I have one more year of the contract with that phone so have to wait it out until I can get a different device.

Same. Will this mean custom kernels for the 2.x versions available for the Pixi Plus?

It should have an open-source project right from the start. They would have gotten more developers interest and Richard Stallman's blessings.

.
I sometime ago actually thought, that it was. But was corrected here at Neowin.

FMH said,
It should have an open-source project right from the start. They would have gotten more developers interest and Richard Stallman's blessings.

.
I sometime ago actually thought, that it was. But was corrected here at Neowin.

it was open source but it has always been very "open". Palm and HP made no attempt to stop people from hacking away at it and even encouraged it, and made it very easy to get into developer mode(root), all it takes is a simple code and your set.

That is pretty big news indeed, making me regret not trying harder to get my hands on one when they were on sale. The potential for some amazing stuff is definitely there.

DirtyLarry said,
That is pretty big news indeed, making me regret not trying harder to get my hands on one when they were on sale. The potential for some amazing stuff is definitely there.

Well there is another sale coming up... Plus, with this you might be able to get it on a better piece of hardware sometime in the future.

Morden said,
So at last there will be one opensource mobile os that actually good and can be used for something. Nice.

Ahem... Android?

s3n4te said,

Ahem... Android?

WebOS was, at least, built from the ground up for touch. Android originally wasn't, and just sort of moved in a touch direction (which is why so many early phones still had trackballs and trackpads). Some would say this means WebOS is a more refined modern smartphone platform than Android. Others would say it's all about the apps, in which case Android far surpasses it.

Others still sit in their dark little corners raging on with an ancient belief that OSes should be invisible, existing only for applications to run on top of, and all this OS hype driving the market forward and actually advancing technology is nothing more than a bunch of misguided, wrong-headed phooey, and why can't we all just run applications off bootable floppies like the good ol' days.

nekkidtruth said,

Says you....

Yeah... i don't have a problem with you if you disagree. In my eyes android is a frankenstein os that had to endure 4 years to became something that can be called a cohesive system. Others - and Webos is one of them - are built like this in mind.

Morden said,

Yeah... i don't have a problem with you if you disagree. In my eyes android is a frankenstein os that had to endure 4 years to became something that can be called a cohesive system. Others - and Webos is one of them - are built like this in mind.


Its a mobile OS. Dont hate it because it is much better than WebOS.

Well at least you are not the worst: There are some users on there that seem like they are on their period every single day.

htcz said,

Its a mobile OS. Dont hate it because it is much better than WebOS.

Well at least you are not the worst: There are some users on there that seem like they are on their period every single day.


its actually a distro, the OS is linux =)
which isnt a touch designed OS at all.

Shadowzz said,

its actually a distro, the OS is linux =)
which isnt a touch designed OS at all.

nope Linux is a kernel, GNU/Linux is an OS

I liked this OS when it came out, very good usability and worked well. I hope this means it will be made into something worthwhile, as it's now miles behind iOS and Android - but there's stil potential

Not sure this will save WebOS though. Developers would probably prefer and feel it's better use of their time to work on Android because of the number of users and available support in porting it to devices and creating applications. WebOS won't have that for awhile as developers test the waters.

Edit: It's also not clear if HP plans to continue development on WebOS al la Google, or if that will remain to the open source community. The end of the article implies the latter, with HP contributing on top of developer effors.

Would love to see a port of this to some other types of devices. Good move HP, and exactly what I had been hoping you would do!