Device operating systems

HP Sets webOS Free

As promised, HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) revealed the fate of its webOS software, and that fate is now in the hands of the open-source community. HP said Friday it would keep and continue to support webOS as an open-source platform.

HP's press release says the company will remain an active participant and investor in webOS and will work to avoid fragmentation. (See HP to Open Source webOS .)

The move isn't entirely surprising. HP has no smartphones or tablets to put the operating system on, so it can't keep webOS for itself, and it likely couldn't find a buyer, either. (See HP Shuts Down WebOS Device Biz and OS Watch: What’s Up With WebOS?)

But it also doesn't make webOS's future any clearer. Even if the software is free and customizable, developers and handset makers will have to want to use it. With webOS's lack of apps and sordid history, and a number of richer, free and customizable OSs -- namely Android -- to choose from, there may be little incentive.

It's good that the indecisiveness around the future of webOS is resolved, but its future is anything but decided.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

larryw408 12/5/2012 | 4:46:48 PM
re: HP Sets webOS Free

A quick walk down short-term-memory lane will remind us how disgruntled Android handet producers were with Google's purchase of MOT's mobile business.  A mature mobile OS without MSFT's overhead (technical ineptitude and corresponding barriers to a profitable business) seems like a good option to me.

Hello Samsung, HTC, LG, etc.?...

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