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HP launches Open WebOS beta

by on04 September 2012 2099 times
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August 31st marked beta release of HP's open source webOS, as it was scheduled. More than 450,000 lines of code under Apache 2.0 license and 54 webOS components were packed in this beta release. On the webOS official blog HP said “Eight months ago we announced our ambitious plan to make webOS available under an open source license and bring the innovation of the webOS platform to the open source community. We are proud to have hit another milestone with today's beta release.” In this release there will be two new features, Gestures and Card Stack Tabs.

WebOS provides a developer environment desktop build which allows everyone who is interested to participate in enhancing and improving this system; just like you can for practically every other open source software. It also features System manager support for apps, some of the built in ones are Calendar and Contacts, and there are lots of Enyo third-party apps yet to be installed by users. The OpenEmbedded build with ARM emulator is made for porting webOS to all sorts of devices. It provides multiple hardware architectures along with cross-compiling support for embedded platforms. “No Beta release would be complete without a full complement of ways for the community to contribute and engage with us. Come join the community to discuss porting, features and fixes on our mailing lists. You can also submit and track bugs and feature requests in our public Jira system,” they said on their blog so feel free to join in this project if you have the needed knowledge.
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HP will give away this project to an independent company Gram, which is under their financial protection. They will have the job of employing the webOS team and make webOS a Global Business Unit. They call Gram a new brand that is currently in stealth mode, so we can expect some big announcements soon from HP regarding this independent company. HP Chief of Staff Martin Risau said “We are no longer a consumer hardware brand; we are a different company with focus on software, user experience, cloud, engineering and partnering. We are an incubation company and we are trusting you to keep this company name and product under the radar to give it time to take root and grow. You can wear the logo, help build the momentum of the new identity, talk to your families and friends about it.” We can expect further announcements next month when HP plans to push a new release of webOS.

[Ed – recently many analysts claimed that HP would not actually make this move. We are glad to see they were wrong. By having another mature OS available and with Open Source support we might see the market shift (there is even a chance that one of the major phone players will pick it up). WebOS also had a good following when the Palm Pre was released so there is a chance that if someone like HTC, Samsung or LG pick up WebOS they can gain some of that back. This news should concern Apple, Google and Microsoft.]

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Last modified on 04 September 2012
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