HP’s WebOS Enyo Team is Joining Google

Earlier this year, HP released the Enyo framework source code as open source software under the Apache 2.0 license. This was done as part of HP’s bigger plan of open sourcing the entire WebOS platform. The WebOS open sourcing effort will reach a closure in August. WebOS was an excellent mobile platform and its UX has been appreciated widely. Popular mobile platforms like Android and Blackberry borrow heavily from it and this open sourcing would have helped HP create a competitive mobile platform. However, HPs plans have been disrupted with some latest development.

hp-webosThe Verge writes in an exclusive report saying that the entire WebOS Enyo team will leave HP to start working at Google shortly. This strikes a serious blow to the future of WebOS. It is not known what the awesome people in the Enyo team will do at Google. One of the best comments on the post was perhaps:

Google buys Palm for zero billion dollars.

Android took a major UX leap with design ideas from Matias Duarte and it showed in Honeycomb. Now, with the entire Enyo team and Matias Duarte under its belt, Android might just rock the mobile segment.

Google can either borrow their mobile expertise for improving the Android user experience, or leverage their HTML5 expertise to create a better ecosystem for Google Chrome and Chrome OS. Looking at the technology stack that the Enyo team worked on, the latter seems more probable. Either way, Google has gotten hold of a golden goose, which will lay golden eggs. What remains to be seen, is which way the eggs roll.

HP’s Roadmap for webOS Open Source Initiative

While it’s not news that HP have begun their open sourcing efforts for webOS, the fact that they have published their official roadmap for the project, however, is. 

Back in 2011, HP decided to open source webOS. They flogged their TouchPads and made a bunch of money. They couldn’t find any buyers to sell the platform they built from the ground up. They decided their best choice was to throw open the doors and give it away for free. It’s taken just under 2 months for them to release anything, and today they have.

The HP webOS Developer Blog has posted the official announcement of their efforts in open sourcing their Javascript Application Framework – Enyo. Enyo is a completely cross-platform, open source, highly customizable and extensible application framework. Open sourcing Enyo was the first step in the roadmap, with only 5 days left before a soft deadline.

According to their press release, HP hopes to have completed open sourcing of webOS by the end of August 2012, when they release “Open WebOS 1.0”. Scratch the first entry, it’s done.

  • January: Enyo 2.0 and Enyo source code Apache License, Version 2.0 
  • February: Intended project governance model, QT WebKit extensions, JavaScript core, UI Enyo widgets
  • March: Linux standard kernel, Graphics extensions EGL, LevelDB, USB extensions
  • April: Ares 2.0, Enyo 2.1, Node services
  • July: System manager (“Luna”), System manager bus, Core applications, Enyo 2.2
  • August: Build release model, Open webOS Beta, Open webOS 1.0

Hopefully by August, HP will have completely weeded out any and all binary blobs from webOS, open sourced all the bits under the hood, and packaged it with the proper license (Enyo is licensed under Apache 2.0) that truly gives developers, enthusiasts, hobbyists, and hackers the ability to push webOS forward.

Although HP has indicated they have a good interest in using webOS in the near future, putting it all out there with a hands-off approach would likely better the chances of a bright future for webOS. Nokia did it with Maemo and there is a very strong and smart community who are still using and developing for devices that were EOL’d a long time ago. The webOS community is full of resilient, bright, and talented people who will take webOS under their wing.

All webOS needs is some new hardware. If the above image is what you have in mind and you work at HP, please walk yourself off a cliff before you ruin all the hard work Palm did.

HP Open Sources webOS

HP has finally decided the fate of webOS – today, it announced that it will contribute webOS to the open source community. It also stated that it plans to be active in the development and support of webOS going forward.

“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.” said Meg Whitman, HP president and CEO.

Looks like it didn’t find any buyers for webOS, not for the price it wanted to offload it at. While it hasn’t specifically stated otherwise, it’s unlikely that HP will continue to develop hardware powered by webOS. It may use webOS on its printers, but don’t expect any webOS smartphones or tablets in the near future.

webOS was one of the most promising mobile platforms in recent times. It didn’t do as well as iOS or Android, of course, but it surely didn’t deserve to die. Thanks to HP, now it hopefully won’t. But then again, even Symbian was open sourced by Nokia long ago, and that didn’t seem to help it much. In the end, Nokia just abandoned it to embrace Windows Phone.

HP has also stated that it will be contributing ENYO, the app framework for webOS to the community too, in the near future.

Check out the complete press release by HP – HP to Contribute webOS to Open Source

HP Still Pushing Pre 2 Updates

Despite being relegated to certain death, HP is actually still providing software updates to webOS.

Although HP has squandered millions (actually, billions)  with their acquisition of Palm for webOS, developed and then torched their TouchPad in an attempt to hit billboard status, beyond all expectations, they are still working on webOS behind the scenes. The webOS-Internals team is reporting that the Pre 2, now almost a year old, is set to receive an update to OS 2.2.4 which almost brings it to parity with features of the rare Pre 3.

If you’re unfortunate enough to have both a Pre 2 and a TouchPad, this update will allow the devices to talk over bluetooth in order to share text messages, as well as phone calls. While using bluetooth is a good way to keep the data local, iPhone and iPad users have iMessage which syncs over iCloud in order to keep your messages up-to-date on all devices, which means you don’t need to be in close proximity of your phone. A much better implementation.

Amongst all the hullabaloo concerning mobile security, webOS 2.2.4 also implements encryption for the local filesystem. This likely means system databases and essential files are either stored within a real cryptfs or are encrypted separately. Not quite as handy as having the ability to remote wipe without running your own Exchange server, but it’s a step in the right direction for data integrity.

Hopefully some bugs were squashed and there’s more to the changelog than 5 features, but judging by the package size (46MB), it’s not likely. It’s still unfortunate that webOS is floating in limbo with HP, but it’s great to see that the webOS team is still looking at the future for current users.

HP Wants to Offload webOS, But Still Wants to Make webOS Printers

HP revealed its Q4 2011 earnings results, and the whole blogosphere is laughing at how it made a fool of itself by buying webOS (Palm) for $1.2 billion, and then wasted another ton of cash trying to wind it down.

Eventually, it may make good on its webOS investment by selling it off to some other mobile company. Rumors suggest that Palm’s patent stash is quite valuable now that the patent wars are on in the industry.

HP is currently busy finding buyers willing to take Palm’s assets, including webOS, off its hands. However, it has included a clause in the deal which requires the buyer to license webOS back to HP, for use in its printers.

HP first promised us printers powered by webOS when it acquired Palm. It may not be a big deal for any of us, but printers still account for a major portion of HP’s revenues. It made close to $6.4 billion in revenue in the last quarter, from the Imaging and Printing group.

However, its revenue was still down 10% year-on-year. Even a small boost in printer sales could mean a significant increase in HP’s topline growth.

Personally, I don’t think webOS on printers is that big a deal, after all, it’s a printer, not a smartphone or a tablet. But you never know. It definitely won’t cost HP much; the buyer of webOS may just throw it in to speed up the deal.

HP’s TouchPad Go Comes Back For More Pictures

The HP TouchPad, the tablet that never made it far out of the front gate before getting axed, has spawned life to a little brother.

The rarely seen TouchPad Go, was given a solid time in front of the camera recently. Of course, it looks exactly like a TouchPad at first glance. It’s a 7″ webOS tablet, sporting the same 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and Beats Audio as the original TouchPad. Absolutely everything is known about this tablet, thanks to marketing slides that were leaked a few months ago.  What was never covered, is how the Go actually looks compared to the rest of the HP/Palm device line-up. For nostalgia sake, here’s a shot that will make any webOS fan cry.

A smaller form factor and some flash accessories won’t put HP back on the mobile map, unfortunately. It’s a shame that the TouchPad Go will likely have the same fate as the unreleased Pre 3 – stockpiled in a warehouse or selling like hotcakes on eBay and CraigsList. While many users are perfectly happy with their $99 TouchPad tablets, especially ones who have them running Android, the TouchPad Go will probably never be blessed with such satisfaction.

It’s truly unfortunate that HP may not even sell these devices to employees, developers or even let them go with the clear understanding of no support, no warranty and no care comes with a purchase. Looks like the 7″ tablet wars have dwindled to just a few competitors battling it out amongst themselves.

Source: Palmjoy

HP Updates TouchPad To webOS

Even though you didn’t get your hands on a webOS TouchPad, there’s nothing stopping HP from providing marginal updates to their defunct platform, right?

HP has just started pushing out the latest update to the their tablet, the TouchPad. It’s still webOS, although there are ways to get Android running on yours. It’s a small update, it brings the usual speed improvement, performance and stability updates, and fixes some rather huge gaps in the system (that you probably never cared about). You may have noticed that puny 1.3 MP camera on the front, but that there was no way of actually using it to take pictures; well fear no more. There is now a built-in Camera app to take care of your video and picture-taking requirements. Likely, the camera attached to your phone is more suited than the TouchPad, but it’s nice that HP has addressed this.

You also may have been having issues pairing your phone with the TouchPad — that’s because in their infinite wisdom, HP decided to disallow non-webOS devices from connecting. Well, they’ve also fixed that. You can now pair any device, smart or dumb phone to your TouchPad and use it as a phone. Thanks HP, holding and talking into a 10″ screen is exactly what I want to do. Instead, HP should have added the Bluetooth DUN profile for tethering or maybe OBEX-FTP for sharing files between devices. There’s no reason a modern mobile platform should be missing either of these. Shame on you, HP.

Of course some other minor additions such as OGG Vorbis support, and being able to actually toggle between offline and online while logged in to an IM service have been added.

These certainly are nice additions that most definitely make up for HP stabbing Palm in the back, abandoning webOS and shattering the dreams of many customers. Thanks for the bone, HP! Next time, do all your customers a favor and instead of shipping 2 or 3 devices with Android pre-installed, set it up for everybody and save yourself the PR nightmare.

Does It Make Sense for Amazon to Buy Palm (webOS) from HP?

There is a new rumor in town, and it says that Amazon is currently in negotiations with HP to buy what’s let of Palm.

HP recently discontinued webOS development, after buying Palm for $1.2 billion last year. It sold off its remaining stock of Touchpads, and is now focusing only on enterprise software. Presumably, it is willing to sell off Palm’s assets for much less than $1 billion.

Amazon is now one of the biggest contenders in the tablet space. The Kindle Fire, its $200 tablet is one of the cheapest tablets with a complete ecosystem in place. It is expected to sell around 4-5 million units by the end of 2011.

If there is some manufacturer which could bring webOS back to life, it’s probably Amazon. Apparently, even Jon Rubinstein, the former CEO of Palm feels that Amazon would be a great partner for webOS.

Amazon Kindle Fire

But does it make sense for Amazon?

For the Kindle Fire, Amazon has already completely customized Android to create a tablet tightly integrated with its own services and content platform. One of the biggest reasons people will buy the Amazon tablet is because they can still use Android apps on them, via the Amazon App Store.

If the Kindle Fire 2 were to run on webOS, Amazon would have to lure developers to webOS first, which would defeat the entire purpose of its investment in the Amazon App Store.

Given that users would rather prefer an Android tablet than a webOS one, and the fact that Amazon has already invested heavily in Android, it makes no sense to switch platforms now.

However, there may be one reason for Amazon to switch to webOS. Microsoft has been forcing almost all Android device manufacturers to sign patent licensing agreements with it, and is demanding around $5-$10 for every Android device sold. Amazon may have to sign a licensing agreement with them soon, and given the razor thin margins on the Kindle Fire, it may rather prefer to pick up webOS from HP for a few hundred million dollars, instead of paying Microsoft much more per year as licensing fees.

It’s going to be interesting.

On HP’s Board, its CEO and its Future

HP has been in the news for all the wrong reasons this year. First of all, its board fired its CEO Mark Hurd over a sexual harassment scandal, which turned out to be something trivial. That was a huge mistake on the part of HP’s board, because Mark Hurd was probably one of the best CEOs HP could have had, and firing him made the stock tank.

After that it poached Leo Apotheker from SAP, who in an attempt to revitalize HP, announced that HP would be spinning off its PC business and would try to become a software company with the $10 billion acquisition of Autonomy, which by many analyst estimates, was overpriced.

Did I mention that it also killed webOS and organized a TouchPad fire sale which cost HP hundreds of millions of dollars?

Leo had always been a software guy, and coming from SAP, his strategy for HP would have eventually ended up with HP venturing into software. At least he was doing something to keep HP relevant in the impending future (which could arguably have been the right move, considering how well IBM had done after selling off the consumer PC business to Lenovo).

HP’s stock has dropped almost 30-40% since Mark Hurd’s reign, and apparently, its board is now in a state of panic. It seems to be considering firing Apotheker, and rethink its strategy. The markets seem to be cheering the board’s latest decision with the stock jumping almost 10% today. It may be right this time, but it is definitely the worst board I’ve ever seen. Even Yahoo’s board isn’t so temperamental and confused.

The next few months will be very instrumental in deciding HP’s future. The decisions its incompetent board makes will decide whether HP will live on for the next decade, or if it will fade away into obscurity.

HP TouchPad Go Images and Specifications Leaked

HP announced that it would be discontinuing webOS about a month ago, and that it would be offloading the remaining HP TouchPad stock at fire-sale prices. Soon after that, the HP TouchPad became the best selling tablet for a day or two, with people thronging to the stores to grab a TouchPad at just $99.

While the TouchPad stock may be almost completely disposed off now, except for a few units which HP wants to sell only to its own employees, apparently, some HP TouchPad Go tablets are yet to be disposed off. Some units seem to have been produced already, and they were leaked yesterday on a Chinese forum, where they were spotted by the guys at This is my Next.

The HP TouchPad Go was the 7 inch version of the HP TouchPad which was just a few weeks away from launch, when HP decided to kill off webOS. It sports a 7 inch capacitive touchscreen display with the same resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels. It even has the same processor as the TouchPad – a 1.5 GHz Snapdragon and comes with 1 GB RAM and 16 GB internal storage.

Hopefully, HP has a shitload of units which it will sell at $99. As I’ve said before, I’m dying to buy the HP TouchPad, and you should too. For now, check out these leaked images of the HP TouchPad Go.

HP TouchPad Go

HP TouchPad Go