Sunday, December 11, 2011

CIO Alert - HP’s webOS goes Open-Source



The smartphone and tablet OS market is definitely the most dynamic and unpredictable IT market. The main reason for that is that it is the first time where consumer meets IT and the consumer is the one to cast the last vote.

The dynamic, unpredictable nature of this market is demonstrated once again, with HP’s latest announcement to put their webOS in the hands of the Open Source community.
Out of the other options – HP continuing to support webOS as its own proprietary platform, selling webOS to another mega-vendor, killing webOS – the Open Source approach seems to be the one with the greatest potential of putting webOS among the leading mobile and tables operating systems.
It is because of the open-source nature, that Android managed to take the market lead. The reason for that goes to convergence of consumers and IT.

As an open source project, webOS will enable greater involvement of the developers community which in turn will result in a richer and wider collection of webOS based applications. Together with the ability of smartphone hardware vendors such as HTC to incorporate webOS in their devices makes a promising path for webOS to be adopted more widely by smartphone developers and users.

In the ancient PC days, open source OS such as Linux did not have a major impact on the PC market. This was because the PC market trends were set mainly by enterprises and governments who did not rush to adopt open source OS.

Now, in the Post-PC era, the end-user set the trends and the enterprises must follow. If webOS will gain enough public interest, and good chances for it to do so, enterprises will need to add webOS to as yet another mobile operating system they need to support.

The need for a true multi-device application platform becomes even more relevant than before.



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