hp が PC 部門の切り離し検討と、webOS 製品の終了を発表したのは8月のこと。CEOの交代を経て、一転し PC 事業の継続を明らかにしたのが10月の話。そして米国付け9日、新 CEO のメグ・ホイットマン氏は「あらゆる選択肢を検討した」結果、 webOS をオープンソース化することを明らかにしました。Palm に源流を持つ webOS は、ややこしい歴史を経て、外部の開発者と共に未来を目指していくことになります。ホイットマン氏に言わせれば「webOS はモバイルで、クラウドベースで、スケーラブルになるよう一から設計された、ただひとつのプラットフォーム」であり、iOSAndroid が市場を牽引し、オープンソースという文脈では(Androidを除いても) Maemo / Moblin あらため MeeGo あらため Tizen のような選択肢がある今日でも、まだまだ価値を持つという見方です。

オープンソース化ののち hp は手を引くというわけではなく、同社は引き続きコミュニティをサポートし、「分断を防ぐよう、良質で透明で包括的な管理を行う」方針。関連するアプリもあわせてオープンソース化されることが発表されています。ただし、ハードウェア面については、オープンソース下での開発が「次世代の端末やアプリ、サービスの基礎となる」と説明されているだけで、実際に同社や他の企業が webOS が動作するスマートフォンやタブレットを今後発表するかどうかは不透明です。当初 hp は、webOS をプリンターや PC にも活用する方針でした。

オープンソース化すれば開発者が集まり、新機能がどんどん加わって素晴らしい OS になる、という単純な図式を信じる人はもはやいないでしょう。モバイル OS は、ただでさえ開発者の奪いあいが激しい分野です。また一口に「オープンソース」と言っても、ライセンス形態や、コミュニティの体制など、その具体性については、まだまだ疑問点があります。それでも、洗練された webOS の資産がこのまま消えていくよりは、ずっと良い選択だったと言えるのではないでしょうか。「webOS 使ってみた」運動が盛り上がり、改変 webOS を自在にインストールできる高機能端末が販売されるようになれば、なかなか面白くなりそうです。


From: CEO – Meg Whitman
Sent: Friday, December 09, 2011 2:03 PM
Subject: webOS to be contributed to the open source community

Meg Whitman

TO/ All Employees

SUBJECT/ webOS to be contributed to the open source community

Today, we announced that HP will contribute our webOS software to the open source community and support its development going forward. We believe that this is the best way to ensure the benefits of webOS are accessible to the largest possible ecosystem.

Since we announced the discontinuation of our webOS devices last August, the executive team has been working to determine the best path forward for this highly respected software. We looked at all the options in the market today and we see a clear need for a platform that is both open and has a single integrated stack.

webOS is the only platform designed from the ground up to be mobile, cloud-connected, and scalable. By providing webOS to the open source community and other hardware vendors we have the potential to fundamentally change the landscape.

HP engineers, partners, other developers and hardware manufacturers will be able to contribute to the development of webOS. Together, we have an opportunity to make it the foundation of a new generation of devices, applications and services to address the rapidly evolving demands of both consumers and enterprises.

I would like to thank the webOS team for continuing your efforts under very difficult circumstances during these last couple of months. Your dedication is very much appreciated.

This is a very positive move for the development of our people, our software and HP overall.

We strongly believe that the best days for webOS are still ahead.



HP to Contribute webOS to Open Source
HP to enable creativity of the community to accelerate the next-generation web-centric platform

PALO ALTO, Calif., Dec. 9, 2011 – HP today announced it will contribute the webOS software to the open source community.

HP plans to continue to be active in the development and support of webOS. 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.

webOS offers a number of benefits to the entire ecosystem of web applications. For developers, applications can be easily built using standard web technologies. In addition, its single integrated stack offers multiplatform portability. For device manufacturers, it provides a single web-centric platform to run across multiple devices. As a result, the end user benefits from a fast, immersive user experience.

"webOS is the only platform designed from the ground up to be mobile, cloud-connected and scalable," said Meg Whitman, HP president and chief executive officer. "By contributing this innovation, HP unleashes the creativity of the open source community to advance a new generation of applications and devices."

HP will make the underlying code of webOS available under an open source license. Developers, partners, HP engineers and other hardware manufacturers can deliver ongoing enhancements and new versions into the marketplace.

HP will engage the open source community to help define the charter of the open source project under a set of operating principles:

- The goal of the project is to accelerate the open development of the
webOS platform
- HP will be an active participant and investor in the project
- Good, transparent and inclusive governance to avoid fragmentation
- Software will be provided as a pure open source project

HP also will contribute ENYO, the application framework for webOS, to the community in the near future along with a plan for the remaining components of the user space.

Beginning today, developers and customers are invited to provide input and suggestions at http://developer.palm.com/blog/.