Skip to main content

HP delivers on promise, releases Open WebOS in beta mode

Almost nine months after Hewlett-Packard announced its plan to contribute its webOS platform to the open-source community, the company on Friday set off the streamers to celebrate its beta release.

"It has taken a lot of hard work, long hours and weekend sacrifices by our engineering team to deliver on our promise and we have accomplished this goal," the company said in a blog post.

The beta release of the mobile OS offers 54 open-source webOS components – or 450,000 lines of code under the Apache 2.0 license – in two build environments: a desktop build and the OpenEmbedded build. Now developers, partners, HP engineers, and other hardware manufacturers can add their own spin on the mobile OS.

The desktop build, according to HP, "provides the ideal development environment for enhancing the webOS user experience with new features and integrating state of the art open source technologies." With the new open-source option, developers can now use all of their desktop tools on powerful development machines, the company said.

The OpenEmbedded build offers a better climate for porting webOS to new and existing devices, HP added.

"No Beta release would be complete without a full complement of ways for the community to contribute and engage with us," HP's announcement said. The company encouraged developers to join an online group to discuss things like porting, and to submit and track bugs and feature requests.

Earlier this month, HP announced a "new brand" with the reintroduction of its webOS Global Business Unit (GBU) as Gram.

"We are no longer a consumer hardware brand, we are a different company with a focus on software, user experience, cloud, engineering, and partnering," HP chief of staff Martin Risau said in a 14 August statement.

HP's excitement over the new Open webOS continues to build, the blog said, as the team approaches version 1.0 and beyond.