HP just took to the wire and announced to the tech world that webOS will live on as an open source project. Shortly thereafter, Meg Whitman informed HP employees about the decision. The internal email I obtained, which is included in its entirely after the jump, gives a bit more insight than HP’s public press release including Meg’s feeling that webOS will continue to grow and this is a postive move for HP and webOS alike.
Whitman’s email indicates that the HP leadership team saw webOS could be “a platform that is both open and has a single integrated stack.” By making webOS open source, HP’s short-lived OS neatly fulfills this desire. However, like the company already stated, talk of new hardware is nearly absent from the email besides stating “hardware manufacturers” (read: HP is done) will be able to continue to “contribute” webOS. The TouchPad was likely the last of the HP-branded hardware — unless of course the open source community turns webOS into a magnificent creation worthy of new hardware.
From: CEO – Meg Whitman
Sent: Friday, December 09, 2011 2:03 PM
Subject: webOS to be contributed to the open source community
TO/ All Employees
SUBJECT/ webOS to be contributed to the open source community
Today, we announced that HP will contribute our webOS software to the open source community and support its development going forward. We believe that this is the best way to ensure the benefits of webOS are accessible to the largest possible ecosystem.
Since we announced the discontinuation of our webOS devices last August, the executive team has been working to determine the best path forward for this highly respected software. We looked at all the options in the market today and we see a clear need for a platform that is both open and has a single integrated stack.
webOS is the only platform designed from the ground up to be mobile, cloud-connected, and scalable. By providing webOS to the open source community and other hardware vendors we have the potential to fundamentally change the landscape.
HP engineers, partners, other developers and hardware manufacturers will be able to contribute to the development of webOS. Together, we have an opportunity to make it the foundation of a new generation of devices, applications and services to address the rapidly evolving demands of both consumers and enterprises.
I would like to thank the webOS team for continuing your efforts under very difficult circumstances during these last couple of months. Your dedication is very much appreciated.
This is a very positive move for the development of our people, our software and HP overall.
We strongly believe that the best days for webOS are still ahead.