No one can blame you if you haven't heard of WebOS. But just like how iOS powers the iPad and Android powers the Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire, WebOS is what's under the hood of the HP TouchPad -- the iPad-size tablet that HP sold off in a $99 fire sale not too long ago.
The fact most of Android is open-source is one of the big things that's made it so popular, with app developers and hardware manufacturers. Because the programming code is out there on the Internet, for anyone to download and do what they want with it, Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble were able to make their e-reader tablets without asking Google's permission. Meanwhile, hobbyists like the ones behind CyanogenMod have created "custom ROMs" of Android, which are now being used by projects and startups like Republic Wireless.
Now, HP has announced it's making its WebOS code open-source. Will the open-sourcing of WebOS revitalize HP's failing project? More importantly, what does it mean for you?
If you're an electronics shopper
If you missed the first run of $99 TouchPads, a new batch will be available on Sunday starting at 4 p.m. PST, according to CNET. The report is based on an internal HP email that's been circulated across the Internet, announcing that the tablets will be available for HP employees to purchase first before being sold to the wider market in HP's eBay store. These aren't completely new tablets -- they're refurbished -- but it's another chance to score one.
HP CEO Meg Whitman told Joshua Topolsky of The Verge that new HP tablets might be in the cards, suggesting that HP hasn't completely given up on them. It's fired its hardware department, though, which means making new tablets might be a challenge. But if other companies take the open-source WebOS code and make new, compatible tablets, the OS might stay alive into the future, allowing more people to write apps for it.
If you're a developer
If you're a hardware manufacturer
At least a few of the major manufacturers are probably eyeing WebOS now, especially with the patent problems that Android's been facing. So far, OSes like WebOS and Windows Phone 7 have failed to gain traction, but it's possible that this could change.
No comments yet.
Leave a comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Trackbacks are disabled.