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In August I posted the following

Hp Touchpad 0-1

HP Killing Off TouchPad, Pre – $1.2 Billion Down The Drain?

…HP reported that it plans to announce that it will discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones. HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward.

HP if you’re going to kill it, open source it – or at least consider giving it away, just like google is doing with Android. On a related note, there will be about 250,000 HP tablet flooding the market, below cost soon. It will be interesting to see what makers do with them.

If You’re Going To Kill It, Open Source It!

And here’s a press release from late last week – looks like open source is becoming a good way to exit and return value when a product ends.

“webOS is the only platform designed from the ground up to be mobile, cloud-connected and scalable,” said Meg Whitman, HP president and chief executive officer. “By contributing this innovation, HP unleashes the creativity of the open source community to advance a new generation of applications and devices.”

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:

- The goal of the project is to accelerate the open development of the
webOS platform
- HP will be an active participant and investor in the project
- Good, transparent and inclusive governance to avoid fragmentation
- Software will be provided as a pure open source project

HP also will contribute ENYO, the application framework for webOS, to the community in the near future along with a plan for the remaining components of the user space.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.



  1. John says:

    This is great news.  The open source community can bring a lot of resources to this product.  I hope that this project is as successful as the open source unix groups. 
    This solution to providing a free mobile OS is superior to the Android model where one company is driving the product even though the product is officially open source.  As a developer I would much rather align myself with  Apple and open source communities.  Google is a little too flaky to bet your future on their sustainability. 

  2. Jamie Kelly says:

    This is super exciting. I have an old desktop gathering dust; I’d love to run WebOS on it…

  3. Gregg Levine says:

    It’s nice to be right. I actually suggested that. And suggested that they should give away developer devices to the crowds (interested ones only) at the Maker Faires. 

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