webOS is made open source by HP

Like most people, we believed that HP had killed off the webOS platform back in August. But it now seems we were wrong – webOS lives on.

At least, it does as open source software. That's according to HP, which has made a statement confirming just that. In that press release, the company said that 'by combining the innovative webOS platform with the development power of the open source community, there is the opportunity to significantly improve applications and web services for the next generation of devices'.

'WebOS is the only platform designed from the ground up to be mobile, cloud-connected and scalable,' added Meg Whitman, HP president and CEO '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 will be able to enhance that software, offering new versions to the market. HP, for its part, will be 'an active participant and investor in the project', as well as offering 'good, transparent and inclusive governance to avoid fragmentation'.

HP, however, doesn't look to have any plans to bring new hardware to the market using the platform, having cleared its stock of the TouchPad tablet and the Palm Pre 3 smartphone. But it does offer opportunities to other companies. Samsung had been in discussions to license the operating system some time back, while HTC was looking for its own OS earlier in the year. Expect both companies to be looking very closely at HP's latest statement.

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