Open Source to develop HP's Web-OS platform
Less than 2 years ago, HP purchased Palm computing for $1.2 billion. The purchase included Pre and Pixi phones and its Web-OS multi touch operating system.
Many Palm fans were thrilled that HP acquired Palm. It was seen as a positive move by users of Palm’s technology, HP were seen to be able to provide long-term stability and consistency for the platform.
A year ago, HP announced that it would use Palm's webOS platform on all HP mobile devices. In July, it launched the HP TouchPad tablet which wasn’t a great success. The TouchPad failed the market due to the innovation of Google Android and Apple iOS systems being much more user friendly and innovative. HP should have been able to compete in the market against these giants but WebOS interface, which is perfect for tablets just didn’t hit it off with users. HP is hopeful future tablets will be better accepted amongst users.
In August last year, HP wanted to sell the platform on but 5 months later in December, they announced they will release WebOS under an open-source licence in order to increase its chances of success. Open Source will offer HP the chance to create, develop and operate highly competitive software. HP continues to believe in their platform and really want it to succeed and one way of doing this is through open source licence.
This month, new HP President and CEO Meg Whitman said the open-sourcing of webOS "will take three to four years to play out" with the initial rollout not happening until September. This could be hugely detrimental to their market share as users will continue to use Google, who are activating 750,000 new users on a daily basis. Apple announced it sold some 37million iPhones during the 4th quarter of last year. HP need to get the ball rolling and quick if they want to stay ahead in the market.
With its incredibly innovative multi-touch user interface, webOS had the potential to compete with iOS and Android and provide real innovation and a real alternative. Due to the set back and 3-4 year projection of completion date, HP can only hope and pray they pull something good out of the bag.