At the end of the day, HP’s big move with WebOS was to give it away now. WebOS, the mobile operating system developed by Palm, later purchased by HP for a tidy old sum, is being bequeathed to the open source community.
But instead of washing its hands of the platform, HP will be engaging with developers in an attempt to create and foster a working environment.
Announced over on it’s news blog, HP says that it is to “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 is looking to define a “charter of the open source project,” along the following lines:
- 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 is in a sense trying to do with WebOS what Google has done with Android. There’s a chance that it really takes off
This is a pretty clever move in a way; instead of just selling the OS off, HP now gets to really evaluate its popularity and see if there’s hunger for open source developers (and another manufacturer) to help bring WebOS to life. Or, let it go quietly to the grave.
This also seems to scotch any chance of any more TouchPad fire sales though…
Source: HP Newsroom