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HP Businesses Open Source News

HP Cuts Staff As WebOS Transitions To Opensource 64

alphadogg writes "Hewlett-Packard has cut 275 jobs in its webOS group, as part of its strategy to turn the operating system over to the open-source community, according to IDG News Service. HP said last year that it would stop making devices that use the operating system which was developed by Palm for phones and tablets, and later decided to release the software under the Apache License 2.0. As webOS continues the transition to open-source software, HP no longer needs many of the engineering and other related positions that it required before, the company said in a statement. 'This creates a smaller and more nimble team that is well-equipped to deliver an open source webOS and sustain HP's commitment to the software over the long term,' it added."
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HP Cuts Staff As WebOS Transitions To Opensource

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  • So much for WebOS (Score:4, Informative)

    by Rakishi ( 759894 ) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @10:04AM (#39196639)

    It's a myth that you simply dump something out as "Open Source" and it will magically be supported by some group of volunteers. Most, if not virtually all, open source projects have paid people at companies doing much of the development. Often companies dedicated to that product although those using it contribute as well.

    As best I can tell no one else is really using WebOS and HP just said they're not going to provide development effort for it.

    I suspect there'll be enough "volunteers" to act as free support bitches and keep WebOS technically alive but for all practical purposes this means it's never going to be on anything but life support.

  • by CRCulver ( 715279 ) <> on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @10:23AM (#39196823) Homepage

    Hopefully open sourcing it will give it new life. It would be nice to have a REAL open source platform, and not the pseudo open source with have with Android ... I wouldn't mind buying a used Android handset or even an iphone 4S and wiping and re-imaging with Webos. Finally a good quality OS on good hardware.

    One of the reasons that Android is not entirely open source is because that good hardware isn't well documented, and therefore you end up having to rely on proprietary drivers and binary blobs. A "good-quality OS" isn't necessarily any good for the hardware you're thinking about.

  • by pavon ( 30274 ) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @11:07AM (#39197371)

    The article states that many of the positions which are being cut are hardware related (and they are being moved to new positions within HP not being fired). HP still has quite a few folks who are paid to develop WebOS. Put it this way. How many successful OSS projects have over 300 full-time developers? That many people is massive overkill even if you split WebOS into 4 major projects, and a handful of smaller projects.

  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @11:51AM (#39197887)
    Maybe not for tablets/phones but it could be useful for other things that require less computing power. One of the rumors after HP bought Palm was that WebOS would used in printers and other products. It would standardize HP's UI at least and may reduce the complexity of development/maintenance as printers become more connected.

Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed. -- Neil Armstrong