The last time we heard about webOS, HP had opted to open-source the mobile platform, letting developers take a stab at breathing some life into it. It was an unconventional move, but not necessarily a bad one: it puts the platform largely in the hands of the development community, and it doesn’t require a large investment.
Today we found out more about HP’s plans for the second coming of webOS. The first step of the open sourcing process, the release of the Enyo application framework, took place today. The entire process is expected to be completed by September of this year. Upon completion of the open-sourcing transition, it will be known as Open webOS 1.0.
The Enyo release lives up to HP’s pledge to continue development, as it shows a refresh over the previous version. Enyo 2.0 is no longer tied to WebKit, so it can be developed for any browser, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Chrome.
Additionally, webOS is getting a new kernel, making the switch to Linux (like Android). This move is designed to a) make webOS more easily installed on a variety of hardware, and b) make it easier for Linux or Android developers to jump in and start developing webOS applications.
HP laid out its timeline for the open-sourcing process, which started today. The company has major updates scheduled for almost every month from now until September. Highlights include the Linux kernel in March, Enyo 2.1 in April, a Beta release in August, and the 1.0 version of Open webOS in September.
Will this go anywhere? Only time will tell, but remember that HP’s plans for webOS are only a couple of steps removed from killing it off. There’s lots of potential for creativity when you hand a platform over to developers, but don’t expect webOS to make a dramatic comeback to do battle with Android and iOS.
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