For those of you who have been following all of the WebOS drama, there is one little detail that has been up in the air for a while now. What will HP do with WebOS? Will it die a quiet death and lie in an unmarked grave only to be regaled by future nerds like the Amiga? Will it license, privately, to tablet and phone manufacters in an effort to recoup it’s massive loss beginning in 2010 with its acquisition of Palm?
HP plans to continue to be active in the development and support of webOS. By combining the innovative webOS platform with the development power of the open source community, there is the opportunity to significantly improve applications and web services for the next generation of devices.
There was a third option. I don’t think anyone put any weight aside from general speculation behind this one… Open Source?
Well, guess what. Today HP announces its plans to make WebOS free to all! A world of possibilities is now upon us. Afraid of Carrier IQ? Install WebOS. I can’t think of a better fate for my Nexus S than an install of Palm’s last hoorah. But what about those who bought the ill-fated HP Touchpad? I guarantee you that these users will see renewed interest by way of the open source community. Updates will continue and free apps will rain across it’s homepage like never before.
There is an article that I remember clearly from Engadget. Palm, Assimilate with Android or Die. Afterwards, in the wake of a poor launch of the Pre on Sprint, and a life-threatening launch months later on Verizon, there were a few very serious rumors around the net about Palm possibly reconsidering its stance and releasing a Palm with Android and a card-view.
webOS offers a number of benefits to the entire ecosystem of web applications. For developers, applications can be easily built using standard web technologies. In addition, its single integrated stack offers multiplatform portability. For device manufacturers, it provides a single web-centric platform to run across multiple devices. As a result, the end user benefits from a fast, immersive user experience.
Now it’s the other way around. Last month, you may have wondered how soon it would be until you could have Ice Cream Sandwich on your Touchpad. Tomorrow you will wonder how well WebOS will perform on your Galaxy Nexus.
Source: HP Press release