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."