HP to make webOS open source 'by September'

Palm may be gone, but HP is making its WebOS live on by releasing it as open source later this year. Photo / Supplied
Palm may be gone, but HP is making its WebOS live on by releasing it as open source later this year. Photo / Supplied

Hewlett-Packard says it will make its webOS mobile operating system available to the open source community by September.

HP announced in December that it was planning to make webOS open source, meaning that developers anywhere can tinker with it as they wish and it will be available for anyone to use free of charge.

The Palo Alto, California-based HP acquired the webOS software as part of its US$1.2 billion purchase of Palm in 2010 but later abandoned plans to make smartphones and tablet computers using the platform.

"By contributing webOS to the open source community, HP unleashes the creativity of hardware and software developers to build a new generation of applications and devices," HP said in a statement.

The computer maker said it would make the webOS source code available under an open source license "in its entirety by September."

"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," said Bill Veghte, HP executive vice president and chief strategy officer.

HP also said it is releasing version 2.0 of webOS developer tool Enyo, which allows developers to write a single application that works across mobile devices and desktop web browsers.

Citing disappointing sales, HP announced on August 18 it was discontinuing the TouchPad, a tablet computer powered by webOS, just seven weeks after it hit the market.

Google's open source Android mobile software is widely used by handset makers but it has been pounded with patent lawsuits from rivals Apple and Microsoft.

- AFP


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