Open *please*: HP - please open source (free) WebOS!
Maemo5 is effectively not for the future - I love, don't get me wrong! And I will take a lot of care about my N900 because I still think that it is the best Linux-like mobile phone on the market yet. But Maemo as a smartphone platform has reached its end of life. There will not be any new devices and the platform will not evolve anymore.
MeeGo is, despite the never tiring excuses of Intel, effectively almost dead too. I am pretty sure that we will not see any further new MeeGo phones except for the Nokia N9.
And today rumors spread that Samsung is about to open source Bada, their up to now proprietory smartphone system.
So what is left? Android and WebOS.
Android has a life of its own. But it is not really open source like Google prooves every day where they do not release the 3.x or 4.x sourcecode. How insane is that? Claiming openness and such but not releasing their sources!?
The last still standing complete solution is WebOS. But WebOS as a proprietory solution, I think, has no chance to survive. We have seen this during the past three years since WebOS started how hard it was to compete with iOS and Android. But WebOS is technology-wise very interesting and, I think, could have a good future! But not as a closed system.
And being resonable, HP will most likely not find a licensee taking the risk to end up with the maintenance burden of a proprietory system that has to compete against the existing smartphone platforms.
So what to do?
I think if HP would open and free the base WebOS system like Google did with Android (up to 2.3.4) WebOS could have a chance!
Many especially cheap devices from Asia come with Android just only because it is the only complete and open software stack solution that offers everyting users want. An open and free WebOS could compete extremely well here!
What I also personally like about WebOS very much is the fact that WebOS is much a Linux system as Android. Google tried very hard to avoid everything that came with GPL/LGPL license and so had to reinvent the wheel for many things. WebOS did not, they used pretty much off the shelf open source components to base upon. This is extremely nice!
So PLEASE HP: OPEN SOURCE WebOS!
...but sad as it is, HP has a long track record of killing good projects and good products...
WebOS will most likely become one more tombstone on HP's graveyard of assassinated projects.