webOS is a pretty stable mobile operating system initially developed by Palm and is based on Linux kernel. WebOS was designed as a replacement OS for Palm devices running Palm OS (Garnet OS) and four Treo devices running Windows Mobile. The company launched new devices such as Pre, Pixi, and Veer, all running on webOS, but the devices didn’t do as good as they were expected and the company saw itself going through a financial crisis. Palm could only choose between going bankrupt or merge with some other company, and the company chose the latter option.
Hewlett Packard acquired Palm in 2010 for $1.2 billion in an all-cash deal, and HP launched its own tablet product called HP TouchPad running WebOS, but this device didn’t do well either. After the failure of the device, HP announced its plan to release an open source version of webOS and named it as Open webOS. Codes of existing devices were also released as webOS Community Edition. Back in January, HP had released a timeline for making webOS open source. Below is the timeline.
• January: Enyo 2.0 and Enyo source code; Apache License, Version 2.0
• March: Linux standard kernel; Graphics extensions EGL; LevelDB; USB extensions
• April: Ares 2.0; Enyo 2.1; Node services
• July: System manager (“Luna”); System manager bus; Core applications; Enyo 2.2
• August: Build release model; Open webOS Beta
• September: Open webOS 1.0
HP has been right on schedule all these months and it’s September now, and as expected, HP is seen sticking to its schedule yet again and has officially released a debut build of Open webOS. The release is all ready to be ported to new devices, and since developers are crazy fast these days, folks at webOS-ports.org have already managed to port webOS to a Galaxy Nexus device. Below is a video of Galaxy Nexus running webOS.
According to the developers, some work is required on the hardware acceleration department. It’s good to see that the independent WebOS Ports team has a version of it running on GSM Galaxy Nexus whereas HP has only managed to get the OS working on a computer. It should be noted that this it took two months for developers to reach this stage and much more polishing is required in order to have the OS up to a stage where it can be used for daily purposes. As of now, the device can connect to WiFi just fine, but some basic phone functions such as SMS isn’t working. Once all the bugs are filtered, developers will publish a tutorial on how to get the OS working on their device.
It’s good to see HP putting a lot of effort into Open webOS program, and by the look of it, HP is going to launch a lot of cool phones in the near future. Perhaps Open webOS may be the next Android. What are your thoughts on this? Let us know using the comment form below.