H-P Frees WebOS to Go Open Source

It’s been quite the year at Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) with a failed foray into tablet computing, the TouchPad, and a changing of the guard at the top with new CEO Meg Whitman.  The failure of the TouchPad had left the future of WebOS, which H-P acquired when they bought Palm back in 2010.

After discontinuing sales of the TouchPad and selling them off at fire-sale prices, there was some doubt as to what would happen to WebOS in the future.  This morning Whitman revealed that WebOS would become an open-source project which will allow developers to do to the operating system what they want.

The forward plan is in its infancy as H-P has yet to define the open-source charter.  WebOS has been praised for its design and ability to multi-task.  If it is embraced by open-source developers this move by H-P could be a way to recoup the billions they have lost on the project so far.

Whitman also stated that H-P has not abandoned the tablet space and that WebOS will be a part of their future.  This move gives tablet manufacturers a competitor to Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android.  While both are open-source, H-P will be looking to final say on how a manufacturer’s implementation of WebOS operates, keeping platform confusion to a minimum, ala Redhat/Fedora according to a report from Mashable.com.

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Tom Luongo

About Tom Luongo

Tom Luongo is a professional chemist and self-taught economist who has been following and trading stocks for nearly 12 years. He has no formal ties to the financial industry and considers that an asset in his analysis of the interplay between monetary policy and capital markets.

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