HP launching first version of Open webOS in beta

Summary:HP delivers the open source version of webOS in beta with the hopes of putting previous criticisms to rest.

Months after Hewlett-Packard originally announced the open source version of webOS, the beta version of the platform is on its way out the door.

Friday's release includes two environments for developers. The first is the desktop build, which is boasted to provide "the ideal development environment" for designing the webOS user experience with more features and integrating other open source technologies on the Ubuntu desktop.

Some of those new features include support for core apps such as Calendar and Contacts as well as third-party Enyo apps.

The second is the OpenEmbedded build for porting webOS to new devices. Equipped with an ARM emulator for running db8 and node.js services, HP cited that it included OpenEmbedded because of its "widespread community adoption" and cross-compiling support for embedded platforms.

Overall, the beta version of Open webOS is comprised of 54 webOS components available as open source, touted to bring more than 450,000 lines of code released under the Apache 2.0 license.

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When open source webOS was first announced last year, it met a bit of negative reaction immediately as there were criticisms that HP didn't have a clear plan for the platform along with uncertainty about how it would affect the mobile spectrum in general.

HP provided a few more details in January, including that the first version of the new platform would be available by September 2012.

HP slightly acknowledged in a blog post about the lengthy time it took to push out Open webOS to developers, citing that it took "a lot of hard work, long hours and weekend sacrifices by our engineering team to deliver on our promise and we have accomplished this goal."

However, HP did not provide a specific date yet for when the September release of Open webOS will roll out.

Screenshot via Hewlett-Packard

Topics: Hewlett-Packard, Mobile OS, Open Source

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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