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HP Beta Puts Open Source WebOS in the Palm of Your Hand

HP may have gotten out of the tablet game, the smartphone game and, well, pretty much every branch of the consumer electronic market a while ago, but that doesn’t mean their legacy won’t live on. Members of the team that created WebOS, the operating system used by HP and latter-day Palm devices, are thrusting their product into the public trust, making the code open source. Yesterday, HP launched the beta for “Open WebOS,” the first major milestone on the way to releasing it to the public in January.

Open WebOS will release 54 components, more than 450,000 lines of codes, through an Apache 2.0 license. Open WebOS will support two build environments; one for the traditional desktop, as well as an OpenEmbedded build designed to let ambitious devs port the OS to new devices on their own.

There’s still one critical piece of the WebOS puzzle that remains unclear: Nobody knows what kind of devices will be able to support it. According to The Verge, the components seem like they’re being designed to run on Android devices sporting an ARM chipset. Case in point, Open WebOS comes packaged with an ARM emulator.

Actually, there’s one question that’s even more important than finding out what device Open WebOS will run on: Who the hell plans on actually using it?

(OpenWebOS Blog via TechCrunch)

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