It’s been a long road since HP first announced that webOS would be going open source in December of 2011. The platform, previously created by Palm and obtained by HP in their acquisition, was seen by many as the Hail Mary play of mobile platforms for Palm, one that would bring them into competition with the world of iPhones and Android devices. Reviews were stellar, but the sales – unfortunately – were never there, leading to HP purchasing the once iconic company. From then on, HP released three new devices – the Palm Pre 3, the HP Veer, and the HP TouchPad, all featuring the wonderfully crafted operating system*.
Unfortunately, through a series of poor business decisions and mismanaged resources, all three devices ended up being giant flops, with it even infamously being reported that Best Buy was refusing any more TouchPad orders, complaining that they’ve got too many of them sitting out back waiting to be sold as it was. All of this led to HP cutting the webOS division (in a decision that, at the time, also included all of the company’s PC devices as well), which meant the death of webOS, until the company decided to launch an initiative to open source the product.
It’s been a long time since that day, but finally, HP’s done right by their promise and has today launched a working beta version of Open webOS. In an announcement today, the company announced the immediate availability of the source code, complete with instructions on how to build and launch the product. Pre-requisites include a working installation of the 32-bit version of Ubuntu 11.x or 12.04 – so fire up those apt-get instances and get compiling.
We’ll have a more complete overview of the first beta release of Open webOS later on.
Source: Open webOS