HP has finally decided what it's going to do with webOS: the software will be made available under an open source license. This likely signals the ultimate end of webOS as a significant commercial venture for HP, although we pretty much got the hint earlier in the year. HP is soliciting developer input to help define the charter of the project here.

I had personally given up on webOS a while ago. The platform really had a lot of potential but HP was both the right and wrong company to take it to the next level. The best we can hope for is that some of the innovations in webOS will get incorporated into other competing OSes and in turn, make them better. I'd like to see webOS stand on its own as another platform, but I do believe the time for that has passed.

Source: HP

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  • augiem - Friday, December 9, 2011 - link

    WebOS never had a prayer because it is a platform-specific operating system. iOS got away with it, well, because of Apple's L33T black magic skills. But for Palm or HP to think they could be competitive in this dog-eat-dog marketplace that is the smart-device wars without licensing their OS out to other manufacturers was naieve. If they had gone with this idea from the beginning, maybe all these HTC/Huawei/Samsung/LG/insert-company-here devices would be running on WebOS and not Android. At the time of its release, WebOS was FAR more polished and usable than the nearly year old Android. Another gem tossed into the garbage pile by brain dead management. WebOS joins the ranks of Commodore/Amiga. RIP.
  • vision33r - Friday, December 9, 2011 - link

    Apple released a hardware and software that worked. HP released a 1/2 baked software and last gen hardware.

    The consumer chose iPad over Android and Touchpad as a result.
  • MGSsancho - Friday, December 9, 2011 - link

    *good software (not great) with 6 month old hardware. WebOS is fine, few apps but that is not really necessary depending on how you use the device.
  • Peteman100 - Friday, December 9, 2011 - link

    Not true. The original Palm Pre had a Cortex A8 before the iPhone did. They just didn't update past that to remain competative.
  • augiem - Friday, December 9, 2011 - link

    That may be true for the TouchPad (half-baked hardware for the $), but certainly not true at the time WebOS was released in 2009. From its release on the Pre, WebOS was dependent on the Pre platform and it struggeled. At that point it should have been made available to 3rd party device makers. When HP bought Palm, they carried over Palm's mistake and tried to continue in the same vein of a proprietary OS running only on HP hardware. By the release of the TouchPad, iPad was already by far the dominant tablet on the market and Android was the dominant OS for smart phones. There really was not much hope that WebOS would make any significant impact since it was handcuffed to a handful of HP devices. Because of the low number of users, even the app marketplace suffered which undoubtedly hurt sales as well. The killer mistake was made a long time ago by Palm.

    I do agree that the TouchPad was overpriced for the hardware and had no real chance of competing with iPad because of that. However, even if the first TouchPad failed, if they had licensed WebOS out to manufacturers, the OS may not have suffered the same fate, they might have a decent app selection by now, and there might have been a possibility of TouchPad 2.
  • piroroadkill - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    I hardly think 1.2 GHz dual core snapdragon and 1GB of RAM is half baked..
  • augiem - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    It's not that bad, but the GPU pales in comparison to the A5 unfortunately. But HP's build quality is seriously half-baked.
  • retrospooty - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    "Apple released a hardware and software that worked. HP released a 1/2 baked software and last gen hardware."

    Yup... Exactly.

    What WebOS is, is an average, decent OS with a fantastic, top of the industry UI. They never "polished" it off, and they never paired it up with good hardware. Palm hardware has always sucked. Harware-wise you can be either clunky or unreliable, but being both for over 1/2 a decade straight will get you out of business.
  • Wolfpup - Thursday, January 5, 2012 - link

    How was it "last gen hardware"? It was roughly on par with the iPad 2's CPUs, probably slightly worse GPU, but basically on par.

    The software was slow-ish, but also a lot more capable than iOS.

    This is really a shame...
  • Dennis Travis - Friday, December 9, 2011 - link

    Very sad. I saw a lot of potential in Web OS.

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