webOS to be fully open source by September


HP said it will hand over the webOS platform to the open source community by September, potentially giving the moribund operating system a new lease of life.

The Silicon Valley giant acquired the OS from Palm as part of a $1.2 billion deal in 2010, but the future of webOS was put in jeopardy when HP announced it was considering quitting the smartphone space.

When the TouchPad went on a fire sale last year, it looked as if webOS' fate was sealed.

Yet HP appears to remain committed to the operating system, at least from a distance, also announcing today it was releasing version 2.0 of the webOS developer tool Enyo.

This is a decisive step toward meeting our goal of accelerating the platform's development.

Enyo lets developers create apps for different platforms, including Android and iOS as well as browsers like Firefox and Internet Explorer.

The OS will be made available under the Apache License, Version 2.0 via an incremental approach from HP, which will see individual elements of source code available over the coming months.

"HP is bringing the innovation of the webOS platform to the open source community," said Bill Veghte, executive vice president and chief strategy officer for HP.

"This is a decisive step toward meeting our goal of accelerating the platform's development and ensuring that its benefits will be delivered to the entire ecosystem of web applications."

Sam Greenblatt, the chief technology officer and head of technical strategy for the open webOS project, took to a Palm developer blog to talk up Enyo.

"This initial open source release includes Enyo 1.0, which allows current developers of Enyo apps for webOS devices to distribute their apps to other platforms. While this release is not intended to be expanded any further, there is considerable utility for our current developer base in releasing it," Greenblatt said.

"Today's release also includes the core of Enyo 2.0, which will be the foundation for Enyo going forward. It expands Enyo's 'write once, run anywhere' capability to even more platforms, from mobile devices to desktop web browsers."

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.