Open webOS - A new feather in open source community's cap
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On 9th December 2011, HP announced to make its highly talked about webOS open source. This announcement meant that anybody (individual developer or company) can use webOS and/or make changes to it. This came as a major success for the open source community that is hit by baseless allegations that professional companies or big corporates are neither interested in adopting nor interested in making their software open source. To read more on why big companies are embracing open source, read an article here.
From HP's official news release :
HP will make the underlying code of webOS available under an open source license. Developers, partners, HP engineers and other hardware manufacturers can deliver ongoing enhancements and new versions into the marketplace. HP will engage the open source community to help define the charter of the open source project under a set of operating principles:
HP also planned to keep the existing team for webOS on board giving an idea that the company is really serious regrading the webOS software. The company also said that it will keep investing huge bucks in webOS clearing off all the speculations and doubts when HP announced that it will scrap all the products on webOS. Though things looked positive but still there were questions as to whether HP would be able to keep its promise in long run.
Cut to October 2012, HP releases first version of webOS named webOS 1.0. This gave a bright new ray of hope that the open source webOS project is still alive. The webOS1.0 release was followed by hiring reports for webOS by HP for its offices in China and US. This brought in a huge cheer and a thumbs up for HP from open source community HOP.
Here is an Open webOS Demo on HP TouchSmart PC ->
Despite of such a large amount of development effort and financial support. It will not be easy for webOS to compete with the likes of Apple's iphone and Google's android mobile OS. Its going to be a struggling journey till 2014 admits HP CEO Meg Whitman but as a CEO should be, she looks pretty excited and positive about webOS. Seems like she is expecting the same success from open source community as in case of Linux OS or Android OS. Whether webOS will be able to stand on the same platform as iphone and android? This is a difficult question to answer at this moment but one thing is for sure that the concept of open source software development is here to stay.
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