HP announced today that it is contributing the webOS platform to the open source community. HP CEO Meg Whitman says they have no plans to build any webOS hardware in 2012, but she did not cross off possibilities of webOS hardware development altogether. Whiman says "webOS is the only platform designed from the ground up to be mobile, cloud-connected and scalable." "By contributing this innovation, HP unleashes the creativity of the open source community to advance a new generation of applications and devices." While HP did not announce any layoffs today, it is expected that the webOS division will go through severe downsizing as a result of this announcement.
So HP bought webOS for $1.2 billion, just to make it open source? It sounds more like they couldn't find a buyer for the platform and decided to just open it up. HP is probably hoping to attract developer and tinkerer interest to turn webOS into another Android, or... Perhaps they've really given up on making money from webOS. If I were a HP shareholder, I would rather HP just kill off webOS and stop wasting my money. WebOS was impressive in 2009, but it doesn't seem so special among competitors like Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, iOS 5, and Windows Phone 7 Mango.