HP webOS open source release, what it means for you

James Martin/CNET

James Martin/CNET
(CBS) - Developers can get their first taste of Hewlett Packard's open source webOS. The company released a schedule of the platform's roll out.

Hewlett Packard announced Enyo 2.0 Wednesday under an Apache 2.0 license. If you're a developer you can start tinkering with the Javascript app framework - which HP says will run on Chrome, IE 9, Firefox and Safari.

The final step of the platform going open source will come in September with the release of Open webOS 1.0.

What does it mean for developers?

It can either be another headache or a new toy to play - depending on your desire to work with a new platform. However you see it, now's a good time to get acclimated to working in the Enyo environment. Open webOS 1.0 could very well be a true competitor for Android.

Matt Hartley of the blog Datamation argues three main advantages of webOS versus Android.

"WebOS doesn't have a fragmentation problem. Unlike Android, we're talking about a platform running scalable, cloud-friendly software. OEMs won't be placing their own wrappers around WebOS, thus keeping the platform experience pure from device to device."

"WebOS could run on existing mobile devices. With the right set of circumstances in place, it would be possible for WebOS to successfully run on any existing smartphones."

"Platform independent software runs on WebOS. There is something to be said about HTML5-based software that runs anywhere vs. dancing around various mobile platforms."

Here's the full schedule of the Open webOS roll out.

What does it mean for consumers?

Unless you are a hobbyist who likes to mess around under the hood of your webOS device, this won't mean all that much to you right now.

Eventually, though, webOS apps and devices may start to hit the market. It's a viable alternative to Android. And more competition in the market means consumers win. Sorry, developers.

With the success of the Kindle Fire, we know that the market for low-cost tablets is there. If hardware companies take a chance on webOS, we could see a larger variety of cheap tablets.

Comments