Diggin' technology every day

December 9, 2011

WebOS to be open sourced

Filed under: News — Tags: — Nate @ 12:19 pm

Probably the best thing that could of happened given the scenarios on the table happened to WebOS:

HP Decided to Open source the whole thing, end-to-end

HP intends to fully open source every component of webOS, right down to its Linux core. They aren’t ready to give a public timeframe for exactly when that open sourcing will happen, because there’s some work that has to be done first.

I think it’s wonderful news myself, I did not relish the thought that so many people wanted the likes of Amazon to acquire WebOS which made absolutely no sense to me.

Maintaining an operating system is a lot of work, and I can understand other mobile device makers not wanting to take on the mammoth task of doing so themselves.

Open sourcing it I believe will give it a bright future.

I really was not expecting HP to maintain such.. commitment to the platform. I’m sure if the previous CEO was still around they would not be investing to open source the software, so score a big one for Meg in my book with this decision, good job, this is a great x-mas present for WebOS users and fans alike.

It may be a year or two before another company attempts to release a WebOS product based on this code base but I’m more confident now than I was before that it’ll happen. The OS really is great, and now that it will be pretty much the most technologically advanced fully open mobile platform on the planet (more so than Android I believe) it’ll come back from the depths of the abyss it was in just a few months ago.

I always felt that the likes of the Touchpad, the Veer, and the Pre- were released before they were ready, they were rushed to market. More so on the software front than hardware for the former, more on the hardware for the latter. The Pre3 was going to be released 6 months too late to make any sort of dent in the market.  I think there was too much pressure to deliver products in such a short time frame they didn’t have the time they needed to do it right. With open sourcing of the OS, things will likely move at a slower pace at least initially but the chances of getting it right I believe go way up.


(I use my Pre3 and one of my two Touchpads every day)

1 Comment

  1. I see a vertical market for WebOS, which in times gone by would have been right up the old HP’s street: trader turrets.

    – – –

    The 800lb gorilla is IPC, with BT Syntegra then Etrali. (Siemens say they have turrets, but never seen one) On the SIP front there is IPTrade and Speakerbus. The whole game is a UI *fail*, possible exception of the newest IPC (they hired FrogDesign, now part of Foxconn, and made really nice kit) and the reason for it all is ergonomics – you really want to bash the keys and get instant feedback when you work a desk. (think angry key bashing) You do not want to punch the wrong line or worse – even if only embarrassing – hit the hoot at the wrong moment when you get blown out. Yet many call management functions suit well to touch screen. Some phone dialing plans I have look like UML trees.

    – –

    This is very close to my heart. 5K per seat is entry for a good turret setup. Plus the support contract. IPC have 20 minute engineering response where I work. I remember the pitch “we use Traveling Salesman algos, to keep a van with the man never more than a turn away from our customers”. That was, ooh, 15 years ago at least! That year, or about that year, BT dug nearly 10 miles of main road to provide a redundant 42,000 lines to HSBC’s tower, snarling traffic about where we are to standstill for months. My much missed pal and engineer chief for this locale got installed in a plush office there, just to smooth things. Sweet break!

    – – –

    So, you have a high capital up front to cannibalize, but also a rich service vein to mine. Surely, that is old (as in last i knew pre- Carly) school HP? I must look up a guy I know who was on hobby working late alpha code to simplify this. The landline jargon still persists … describe to me a ring-down, for example, and when it is needed . . .

    – – –

    because WebOs puts contacts as a first class citizen, I always thought it ideal for high pressure phone interaction. Massive market. Law enforcement, emergency response. Weird advertising guys like us!

    – – –

    Meanwhile, anything HP is a SKU chowder hell. Still. Death by cash cow.

    – – –

    Happy New Year Nate, and all you out there, I enjoyed your VMWare RAMTAX teardown, and shall retreat to my little cluster 🙂 all best – j

    Comment by John (other John) — January 1, 2012 @ 6:19 am

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