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Hewlett Packard said this week that it had begun executing its plan to deliver an open webOS by committing to a schedule for making the platform’s source code available under an open source license. The company aims to complete this milestone in its entirety by September.

“HP is bringing the innovation of the webOS platform to the open source community. This is a decisive step toward meeting our goal of accelerating the platform’s development and ensuring that its benefits will be delivered to the entire ecosystem of web applications,” said Bill Veghte, executive vice president and chief strategy officer at HP.

Back in December the company decided to contribute the webOS platform to the open source community. HP expects hardware makers to use the operating system for their devices and evolve it as well as software makers to develop new applications for webOS. HP plans to continue to be active in the development and support of webOS and even has plans to release a new breed of webOS-powered tablets in 2013.

The hardware and software giant expects that by combining the innovative webOS platform with the development power of the open source community, there is the opportunity to significantly improve applications and web services for the next generation of devices. In a bid to actually attract software designers to webOS, HP has released a new software development tool called Enyo 2.0 that enables developers to write a single application that works across mobile devices that utilize webOS, iOS and Android and desktop web browsers, including Internet Explorer and Firefox. The source code for Enyo is available today, giving the open source community immediate access to the acclaimed application framework for webOS.

In case Enyo 2.0 is actually a good development tool perfectly compatible with all the other programs used to create apps for different platforms, then the toolset can become a life belt for the dying  webOS platform. Compatibility with browsers and mobile platforms could be a sweet thing for developers looking forward maximizing their revenue opportunities.

The webOS code will be made available under the Apache License version 2.0, beginning with the source code for Enyo. Over the first half of the year, HP will make individual elements of webOS source code available – from core applications like Mail and Calendar to its Linux kernel – until the full code base is contributed to the open source community by September.

Tags: HP, webOS, Android, iOS, Palm


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