HP have announced their decision on the future of webOS, it is “Open Source” but what does this mean?
Well, firstly it means that webOS is not dead, HP will release webOS slowly into the public domain and the community can the pick up and run with it. webOS has a great developer community and they will be able to do some great stuff with it. We have already seen webOS 3.0 installed on non Palm/HP devices.
That said, webOS will be very unlikely to get any hardware in 2012. HP will not be building hardware in the near future (only tablets if they do) and they are not in a position to do it if they do decide to make more.
Will we see new hardware from HP at all? They have said it is possible, but it is very unlikely, they have get rid of the hardware side of the business already. They would need to buy in hardware or rehire staff to work on tablets. They have already closed the door on the phone market.
Will a large company like HTC or Samsung using webOS now it is open source? It is possible, but again very unlikely. They are more than likely going to stay with Android as it will have a bigger market and they are already developing phone for these.
So what is going to happen to webOS? At the moment, it looks like it will remain a niche market, with fans buying hardware from other companies, then wiping the software and installing webOS. It will mean that if HP pull the HP App Catalog it will become home brew developers only and the big companies who have been selling apps would release no new software.
Will InternetGumshoe continue to cover webOS? Well, we will have to see. Our financial backer rang after the news of the announcement was released asked for a meeting on Monday 12th December), but it looks like they are pulling out of the website. Unless we can find a new backer, well the future of InternetGumshoe looks as shaky as webOS.