WebOS To Be Open Source By September

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HP announces release timetable and open source tools for developers

HP has released a timetable that will ensure its mobile operating system WebOS will be made available as open source software by September this year.

The source code will be released using the Apache 2.0 license system, which is the same used by rival open-source platform Google Android.

Open Source future

The first stage of the timetable will see HP introduce a set of open source software tools called Enyo 2.0, which will help developers who have become disillusioned with the platform to create applications for it. The Open WebOS Beta is expected to debut in August with the full release of Open WebOs 1.0 in September.

“HP is bringing the innovation of the webOS platform to the open source community,” commented Bill Veghte, executive vice president and chief strategy officer at HP. “This is a decisive step toward meeting our goal of accelerating the platform’s development and ensuring that its benefits will be delivered to the entire ecosystem of web applications.”

HP inherited WebOS when it acquired Palm in 2010 and used the platform in its Palm Pre smartphone and HP TouchPad tablet, which it hoped would compete with Apple’s market-leading iPad. However, within six weeks of its release, the product line was terminated by former CEO Leo Apotheker.

Apotheker himself was then ousted, leaving the fate of WebOS in new CEO Meg Whitman’s hands. She announced that HP was going to make WebOS open source in December, following months of speculation about its future and despite a host of rumoured buyers, including Amazon, Google, Oracle, Microsoft and Intel.

The TouchPad was the second best-selling tablet in the US in 2011, although this was helped by price cuts from a number of American retailers.

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