HP to make webOS open source; is it just prolonging the end?

HP to make webOS open source; is it just prolonging the end?

Summary: HP announced today that they are making webOS open source, but with no partner or hardware announcements is there any reason someone would stick around?

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HP killed the Pre and TouchPad webOS devices earlier this year and then left the future of webOS to be decided later. Today, they issued a press release (PreCentral.net has a copy) announcing they are going to open source webOS, likely because they didn't want to put any more money into a dead platform and could not find a buyer. I suppose the remaining webOS developers will come up with some interesting ideas to install on legacy hardware, but imagine this just prolongs the death walk for webOS.

As good as webOS is, it cannot compete with iOS, Android, and Windows Phone today and I don't know why developers would spend efforts on the platform. When consumers hear open source and look at the support behind the platform, it is likely they also will expect free apps and not be too keen to pay much for anything. There are still active Apple Newton communities and very active Linux ones, but is there really going to be a market for this in the mobile space? I wonder if HP should have just killed the platform, but then we would probably have had the few webOS developers still around screaming bloody murder.

Topics: Hewlett-Packard, Mobile OS, Open Source, Operating Systems

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8 comments
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  • RE: HP to make webOS open source; is it just prolonging the end?

    it IS the end...
    toubib2@...
    • RE: HP to make webOS open source; is it just prolonging the end?

      did you not read? HP said it was still going to fund and provide guidance to prevent fragmentation, as well as use it. The open source was meant to provide a spring-board for increasing the development speed. (I guess people don't read the announcements)
      agarillon
      • RE: HP to make webOS open source; is it just prolonging the end?

        @agarillon
        I think what @toubib2 meant is that this is the beginning of the end. As nice as this plan might sound, he's probably right.
        belli_bettens@...
  • RE: HP to make webOS open source; is it just prolonging the end?

    You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch. Can't we just let those interested in WebOS enjoy their present?
    tsi_inc@...
  • RE: HP to make webOS open source; is it just prolonging the end?

    I'm getting sick of this cliche 'it couldn't compete with the iPhone and Android', the real truth is that it was never given a fair chance to compete. Palm released two crappy phones, which were barely promoted and then the company fell apart, and HP made at best a half assed effort and then gave up without really trying.

    webOS didn't fail because Apple and Google are awesome no one can compete with them, it failed because it was the most poorly managed and ineptly promoted since the Dreamcast (which, for the record, was awesome).
    Doctor Demento
  • RE: HP to make webOS open source; is it just prolonging the end?

    when I was at Nokia I suggested that Nokia and Intel should take MeeGo and partner with HP / Palm WebOS and come out with a alternative to Android, but they had blinders on and now have abandon a Linux platform for WP7. It really is and will to bad to see WebOS fade away, I agree that had it been placed on better devices, it would had a better chance to survive.
    Aikon1953
  • RE: HP to make webOS open source; is it just prolonging the end?

    The only reason WebOS couldn't compete with iOS and android is because of inferior hardware, unbelievably poor management and lack of applications. Most people familiar with all 3 of the above operating systems recognize that WebOS is the best but couldn't compete for the reasons stated. I don't believe HP's announcement contained enough details to know whether WebOS is dead or not.
    drlarryr
  • RE: HP to make webOS open source; is it just prolonging the end?

    Screw WebOS I want to see BeOS revived!!!!!!!!!!!
    lthrwolftx