webOS Goes Open Source

by Anand Lal Shimpi on 12/9/2011 2:06 PM EST


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  • augiem - Friday, December 09, 2011 - link

    WebOS never had a prayer because it is a platform-specific operating system. iOS got away with it, well, because of Apple's L33T black magic skills. But for Palm or HP to think they could be competitive in this dog-eat-dog marketplace that is the smart-device wars without licensing their OS out to other manufacturers was naieve. If they had gone with this idea from the beginning, maybe all these HTC/Huawei/Samsung/LG/insert-company-here devices would be running on WebOS and not Android. At the time of its release, WebOS was FAR more polished and usable than the nearly year old Android. Another gem tossed into the garbage pile by brain dead management. WebOS joins the ranks of Commodore/Amiga. RIP. Reply
  • vision33r - Friday, December 09, 2011 - link

    Apple released a hardware and software that worked. HP released a 1/2 baked software and last gen hardware.

    The consumer chose iPad over Android and Touchpad as a result.
  • MGSsancho - Friday, December 09, 2011 - link

    *good software (not great) with 6 month old hardware. WebOS is fine, few apps but that is not really necessary depending on how you use the device. Reply
  • Peteman100 - Friday, December 09, 2011 - link

    Not true. The original Palm Pre had a Cortex A8 before the iPhone did. They just didn't update past that to remain competative. Reply
  • augiem - Friday, December 09, 2011 - link

    That may be true for the TouchPad (half-baked hardware for the $), but certainly not true at the time WebOS was released in 2009. From its release on the Pre, WebOS was dependent on the Pre platform and it struggeled. At that point it should have been made available to 3rd party device makers. When HP bought Palm, they carried over Palm's mistake and tried to continue in the same vein of a proprietary OS running only on HP hardware. By the release of the TouchPad, iPad was already by far the dominant tablet on the market and Android was the dominant OS for smart phones. There really was not much hope that WebOS would make any significant impact since it was handcuffed to a handful of HP devices. Because of the low number of users, even the app marketplace suffered which undoubtedly hurt sales as well. The killer mistake was made a long time ago by Palm.

    I do agree that the TouchPad was overpriced for the hardware and had no real chance of competing with iPad because of that. However, even if the first TouchPad failed, if they had licensed WebOS out to manufacturers, the OS may not have suffered the same fate, they might have a decent app selection by now, and there might have been a possibility of TouchPad 2.
  • piroroadkill - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    I hardly think 1.2 GHz dual core snapdragon and 1GB of RAM is half baked.. Reply
  • augiem - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    It's not that bad, but the GPU pales in comparison to the A5 unfortunately. But HP's build quality is seriously half-baked. Reply
  • retrospooty - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    "Apple released a hardware and software that worked. HP released a 1/2 baked software and last gen hardware."

    Yup... Exactly.

    What WebOS is, is an average, decent OS with a fantastic, top of the industry UI. They never "polished" it off, and they never paired it up with good hardware. Palm hardware has always sucked. Harware-wise you can be either clunky or unreliable, but being both for over 1/2 a decade straight will get you out of business.
  • Wolfpup - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    How was it "last gen hardware"? It was roughly on par with the iPad 2's CPUs, probably slightly worse GPU, but basically on par.

    The software was slow-ish, but also a lot more capable than iOS.

    This is really a shame...
  • Dennis Travis - Friday, December 09, 2011 - link

    Very sad. I saw a lot of potential in Web OS. Reply
  • tipoo - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    Why is this sad then? Going open source is better than HP just dismantling it. Reply
  • ncrubyguy - Friday, December 09, 2011 - link

    Linux needs a Metro equivalent, and apparently Android isn't that good at being open source Reply
  • sequoia464 - Friday, December 09, 2011 - link

    I have an android machine as well as a touchpad - I'm probably in the minority here, but I liked some of the webOS features. Reply
  • Bownce - Friday, December 09, 2011 - link

    I could load the CM7 port of Android onto my TouchPad but, so far, I prefer the WebOS. Reply
  • augiem - Friday, December 09, 2011 - link

    I like WebOS as well. It's not perfect, but multitasking interface is nice and blows Honeycomb out of the water. (Haven't tried Android 4.0 yet.) HP's quality control on the hardware really sucks, but that's another story. The only sticking point for me is knowing nothing will ever be updated as standards change (browser, kindle come to mind). Reply
  • Assimilator87 - Friday, December 09, 2011 - link

    I've been with webOS for over two years and although the platform has a lot of bugs, I'm finding it very hard to adapt to Android. Luckily I have a Pre 2 that should last me at least another year and if anything should happen to it, I have a Pre and Pixi as backups. Reply
  • dorkboy1000 - Monday, December 26, 2011 - link

    what do you mean quality control really sucks?

    I kinda like the web os interface too its simple and easy to use :)
  • nofumble62 - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    This world is really too small to have more than 3 OS.

    iOS, Android, Win8.

    Jack Welch once said, if you are not number 1 or number 2, get out of it.
  • dorkboy1000 - Monday, December 26, 2011 - link

    I own a touch pad and while I have seen it get raped in the reviews and also have its parent company ditch it....I am quite happy with it at a completley superficial level because I really do not use it for anything other than checking emails and being a portable entertainment center. I have read your comments regarding the operating system going open source and as far as I know it means that hp has donated the operating system to a bunch of tech savvy dudes who will figure out a way to streamline it and make it more user friendly and also develop more nifty things you can do with it....(correct me if I am wrong)
    At this stage what does all this mean for me? Should I just sit tight and wait for new developments? Should I change it over to android? I am a bit dubious about that because the warranty gets void and also I have heard there are bugs in the android os. I also have a samsung galaxy and after 6 months of hating that piece of dog mess I finally got it working a lot better with a firm ware upgrade. While I do enjoy reading the comments you guys post usually it goes way over my head so bear with me if I sound like a dork...hence dorkboy :)

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