HP’s CEO announced today a new course for webOS: it is being made open source, and HP engineers and any developers who are interested will keep updating and improving it. The company even plans to release new devices with this operating system.
HP isn’t just throwing the platform to the open-source community and walking away. The company promises that it will “continue to be active in the development and support of webOS.” It promises it will be “an active participant and investor in the project.”
CEO Meg Whitman talked up the advantages. “webOS is the only platform designed from the ground up to be mobile, cloud-connected and scalable.” Third-party apps can be written using standard web technologies. And, now what it’s open source, device makers that want to use webOS on smartphones and tablets will be able to do so without paying a licensing fee to HP.
One of the companies interested in using webOS in future products is HP itself. Whitman told The Verge “We will use webOS in new hardware.”
However, this doesn’t mean the return of the Pre line. HP’s CEO said, “I do not believe we will be in the smartphone business again.” Instead, they are considering making webOS-based tablets.
In a note to employees today, Whitman wrote, “We strongly believe that the best days for webOS are still ahead.”