HP Killing Off TouchPad, Pre – Open Source It?

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.

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

62 thoughts on “HP Killing Off TouchPad, Pre – Open Source It?

  1. But google isn’t doing it with Android.  They will not release the source code for Android 3.0 for tablets.  And they are actively blocking ‘rooted’ devices from services. 

    1. @twitter-216355943:disqus can you post some links to this? i’ll do a follow up, previously i posted about google not being as “open” as they say they are but a lot of people disagreed with me.

    2. Is that so? I was able to download the release 3.0 and probably 3.1 twice, Once on the one for Windows, and once definitely for Linux.

      As for blocking rooted devices, do you have proof?

      1. Those only contained the GPL components, a small portion of the system.

        And it’s known that Google Movies is blocked on rooted devices – that’s the only service blocked.

    3. Google’s stated one reason for not releasing 3.x source was that they don’t want people shoehorning a “tablet-only” release into phones.

      They have stated that 4.x source will be released, as that merges the 2.x (phone) and 3.x (tablet) trees, and I believe they stated they would also release 3.x source at that point.

      The Apache license does allow them to do this for the majority of the Android 3.x userland.  They have complied with the GPL for those components (primarily the kernel) that fall under the GPL.

      I think there were better ways to combat fragmentation, such as being more restrictive as far as GApps licensing.  I can understand why Google wanted to do this – cracking down on the rash of “poison pill” Android devices that abused the Apache license (closed-source, poor-quality software releases combined with a locked bootloader preventing the user from fixing it.)  At least Google has been forcing quality control on manufacturers with 3.x – There are no “poison pill” duds, updates lag by 1-2 months at most after a new 3.x version is released (as opposed to nearly a year for some phones), and bootloader locking is minimal in tablets.

      Google tried to be as open as possible with Android 1.x and 2.x, and vendors abused that openness by releasing dud “tivoized” devices.  Something needed to be done with 3.x, although as I said – I think they could have struck a better medium between the desire of tinkerers and the desire to combat fragmentation and “poison pill”/”tivoized” devices.

  2. If  Ipad is Ford, Android is GM, that makes Playbook Chysler and it turns out WebOS is AMC.
    Someone like Fusion Garage should port Android to this and offer to buy all HPs inventory at a below cost price.

    1. People are working on porting Android to the orphan Scott. It just takes time. I would rather see a full featured Linux distribution on it rather then that. And not Ubuntu.

  3. The problem is this: “HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward.”

    “Optimize the value” does not mean make it a better value for us. It means make it a better value for THEM. Which means not open sourcing it.

    The good news is, webOS’s secret sauce is supposedly WebKit, which is already open source. So, clone it, ala Haiku.

  4. 1. Android 3.0 was not open sourced because it contained code which Google wasn’t happen with. It broke the standards of Android in so many ways. They’ve already confirmed ICS will be open sourced.

    2. Open Sourcing once-proprietary software, especially something like an operating system, is not easy to do. They have to scour the code for anything patented and find ways around it. Legally, it’s a minefield that costs a lot of man hours.
    It takes a significant amount of goodwill to undergo such a project for no real profit, and profit-free goodwill is not something HP is known for.

  5. I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that those 250,000 tablets aren’t going to be sold to anyone. They’re going to be shipped to an overseas recycling plant and ground up for their glass and metal.

    Though I’m looking forward to the surge of bargain basement test equipment showing up at Halted and Weird Stuff Warehouse.

    1. I am always looking forward to stuff surfacing at Weird Stuff. But that’s not happening. They are being sold at annoying prices.

      I still think HP should make MAKE an offer they’d be daft to refuse, and do give them away at the faire next month.

  6. If HP really wanted to see how many people are interested in that thing, they should do two things, and they have about a month to do them. They are, and in no particular order, make arrangements to give away the things at the Maker Faire surfacing here in NYC, to every one coming in on the Saturday. Free of course. Then make available development tools for the thing. However I’m not sure I would want one, and as it happens I bought the tickets for the two days.

      1. Ah but can you find it easily on their site? I’ll bet you credits to Navy beans that you can’t find it easily.

        And the thing isn’t going to be available as cheaply as some of the target devices for Android are.

          1. I remember that site. It was originally home to the things to develop stuff for the original palm device. It’d be nice if someone were to attempt to revive them……

          2. I remember that site. It was originally home to the things to develop stuff for the original palm device. It’d be nice if someone were to attempt to revive them……

  7. This is the issue with these new class of computers, they have a proprietary OS lock down.
    With few exceptions, till recently, loss of support or “end of line” of an OS didn’t severely cripple hardware. You were still able to use older versions or a different OS all together. But now with the ever connected cloud based architecture you lose all useability when companies decide so or go away.

    If this isn’t a clear case of opening what can be installed on these devices or releasing info of software, hardware, patents of defunct products and or companies that no longer able to, willing to or have the rights to continue with said items.
    I don’t know what is.

  8. Phillip how hard is it for what I’ve suggested to happen? By now for that Maker Faire there must be one-half to three-quarters of the population of NYC, including me, holding tickets for the events.

  9. Phillip how hard is it for what I’ve suggested to happen? By now for that Maker Faire there must be one-half to three-quarters of the population of NYC, including me, holding tickets for the events.

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