No, Really: This Tidbit Means HP’s WebOS Could Rise From The Dead


[credit provider=”Wikimedia Commons”]

WebOS is partly based on Linux (just as Android is).Today, the keeper of Linux, the Linux Foundation, said that WebOS will once again become part of Linux.

This will make WebOS more attractive to potential users of it, since the work of maintaining it will be done as a routine part of maintaining Linux.

“WebOS is moving to the mainline Linux kernel. This saves any device maker service and support costs since it will eliminate much of the custom code those companies need to support,” explained Linux Foundation Jim Zemlin, Executive Director of the Linux Foundation in a blog post.

To clarify, the core of Linux is its kernel, maintained by the Foundation. Anyone who wants it can download that kernel, add their own features around it (or to it) and come up with their own version of a Linux operating system, known as a distribution. 

Once an open source project like WebOS becomes part of that kernel, whenever a change to WebOS is made, HP needs only submit that change to the Linux Foundation. All users will get the fix when they update their Linux kernel. Plus, Linux attracts the brightest developers who help to make sure that changes to the kernel are first-rate.

This doesn’t automatically mean that WebOS will become the next super successful mobile operating system. The Linux Foundation has notoriously been sponsoring alternatives to Android that have failed pretty miserably … the last one being something called MeeGo. Nokia and Intel were partners of it, before Nokia bagged it for Microsoft’s money and Windows Phone 7.  Nokia shipped one MeeGo phone earlier this year to which the world answered, “Yawn.”

The same could hold true for WebOS with one big exception. HP is a giant maker of hardware. It’s been making tablets for eons, too, geared toward specialty uses. That’s a pretty powerful partner in WebOS’s corner.