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What's in it for HP?
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Old 12/10/2011, 07:10 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by The Bard View Post
I think HP just want WebOS on their printer. And to make environment that benefits their printer they want anybody else do the works via open source the webOS... [t]hen HP printer base on WebOS will appealed many people especially business market.
I would laugh so hard if this backfires and Canon, Epson or even lowly Lexmark beats them to the web OS printer.
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Old 12/10/2011, 12:47 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Let me try to explain this from a financial perspective.

HP bought webOS for $1.2B, even if HP can sell this thing for $700M today (which might not be possible), you still post an immediate loss of $500M. Instead, if HP keep this assets and try to make another business model, this asset is still worth $1.2B and potentially may bring in additional revenue.

Open source does not mean free of charge for vendors using webOS, and HP is still in control of all the webOS patterns, and manages the webOS user online account services, which is tightly integrated into webOS as an potential full function cloud service. If HP does the right thing, they will make revenue with a service. This means even if HP does not sell its hardware device, they still can make money. Of course, when webOS market really takes off, HP can easily start the device business again with its obvious hardware expertise and cost advantage - it is the No.1 PC manufacturer.
Yea sounds good except the longer HP waits the more money they put into webOS. Lets just take the webOS salary into effect. HP's average employee salary is 69,000 per year according to a quick google search. That's 41.4 million dollars a year. Seems like a significant chunk of money for just the very slightest chance of future payoff. The hardware expertise and cost advantage didn't help HP make an affordable touchpad this time, why would it in the future?
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Old 12/10/2011, 07:19 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Open source does not mean free of charge for vendors using webOS, and HP is still in control of all the webOS patterns, and manages the webOS user online account services, which is tightly integrated into webOS as an potential full function cloud service.
I haven't poked at the user data backup scheme since the 1.2 days, but it was so simple and based on open-source sync standards that even a caveman could replace their vendor lock-in routines in no time given access to the full source code. Heck, with the exception of a payment scheme, webos-internals has already built an alternate app catalog.

What's in it for HP is keeping Palm's patents in public use, and of course getting a whole lot of free developers to optimize the code and add missing features that neither HP nor Palm could muster the right personnel to do. Plus, there are several examples of other open-source projects managed by for-profit companies, and they make money off of selling support and packaging updates while keeping leadership say in the development process. Think Red Hat for one, which manages the Fedora project and harnesses that to build its enterprise Linux offering.

After watching webOS wallow since 2009 with a pathetically large list of basic features missing like a camera/microphone API, my own feeling even then was that going open-source was the only way to make it viable......
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Old 12/10/2011, 08:06 PM   #24 (permalink)
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vreihen, the truly bizarre thing, is that we do have a camera/mic API for the web apps.. but nothing for natives or hybrids. It's.. weird. Really. Weird.

I'm hoping that HP will put together a truly astonishing team of people to handle this. If managed properly, this could come out very grand, indeed. If mismanaged, well, then we'll just end up with 4 different major webOSs and no new hardware getting built -for- it.
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Old 12/11/2011, 12:34 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Open source does not mean free of charge for vendors using webOS.
In that case it is not true Open Source.

In true open source software, you are free to inspect the source code, modify the source code and distribute the modified code as long as you adhere to the requirements of the license. Those requirements might include offering a copy/access to the modified source code or including a notice giving acknowledgement of the original source of the code, but there should nothing to prevent people (including vendors) from using and distributing the open source software.

What you sometimes find is there is a distinction between the actual software and the branding/trademark - for example, if you distribute a modified version of Firefox, the Mozilla Foundation might tell you that you should no longer call that software "Firefox", but that does not prevent vendors from using and distributing the software.

The other limitation is that a vendor might want access to development snapshots and other things that do not need to be offered under an open source license.

Until we see the details of the HP "Open Source" license and there might be different licenses for different parts of the code, it's difficult to know what it really means... and of course HP can declare some parts of the software to be "application software" or middleware and not covered by the operating system open source license.
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Old 12/11/2011, 09:42 AM   #26 (permalink)
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vreihen, the truly bizarre thing, is that we do have a camera/mic API for the web apps.. but nothing for natives or hybrids. It's.. weird. Really. Weird.
How long did it take to even get this much in webOS? Two years? Back at launch day, there were plenty of developers looking to create neat apps on the original Pre that needed these features, and Palm's inability to provide them in a timely manner makes HP's "in the coming months" look fast in comparison. It took until webOS 2.x to get voice dial into the Pre line, and that came through licensing a third-party package that was woefully lame when compared to Android's voice recognition capabilities at the time. While I'm not expecting Siri-like functionality, it would be neat to "Just Speak" and do a universal search. Hey, maybe I should trademark that?!?!?

Back to the original topic about what's in it for HP. I think that they're hedging a bet on Google versus Apple. If Apple continues suing Android phone manufacturers in jurisdictions around the world over patent stuff, the legal fees for doing business on that platform could drive adoption of webOS by those manufacturers. WebOS is not quite feature-complete enough to be a viable replacement option right now, but given the talent and free labor from the open-source community it could be much quicker (and cheaper) than if they tried to do everything in-house.

I'm just wondering how long "in the coming months" will be for the source code to be released, and if they will do so without the licenses for Microsoft Activesync, the voice dial stuff, and anything else they used from third parties.....
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Old 12/11/2011, 10:28 AM   #27 (permalink)
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They'll have to find replacements, write replacements, or just flat out remove (and replace with hooks?) that stuff, if they can't get the owners of it to let them include it.

I don't know how long it took -- when I got here, 3.0.2 was already out, and Enyo had that stuff, but it wasn't documented at the time. Mojo had had that stuff for .. I don't know? maybe since 2.0? 2.1? I wasn't here then. I do see some older apps that do that sort of stuff, though. But I don't see that we have anyone with knowledge of image processing (or if we do, they don't care to use it), to produce our hundreds of "FatBooth" apps.

They're going to have to pull out all the stops, and with combined efforts from all of us and all of them, do something truly awe-inspiring, to be able to have a chance to do anything market-share wise.
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Old 12/16/2011, 03:51 PM   #28 (permalink)
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I see moving it to open source primarily as an exit strategy. HP is saying "we don't have enough faith in webOS commit the resources to develop it". It's like putting up a child for adoption because you'd rather do other things than be a parent. In the unlikely event the child grows up to be something special they'll still be able to take advantage of it in some ways. If it doesn't have a happy ending they can wash their hands of it.
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Old 12/20/2011, 01:21 PM   #29 (permalink)
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So far Meg doesn't appear to be an *****, so her insistence on keeping a license for WebOS on printers implies a larger hit to the printer division's bottom line by losing WebOS than the write-off cost of killing the phone/tablet division.

I'm guessing their printer division ditched their old Linux-based printer OS and adopted WebOS for all their next-generation, high-volume, high profit margin printers and/or plotters.

Most people forget about it but HP has the "HP TouchSmart App store".

This means HP is already paying people to maintain a printer OS and printer app store. Switching to WebOS lets them get a flashier OS with a much better set of SDKs for the 3rd party developers and a library of existing applications.

Meg's plan to open source WebOS essentially means she can make a low-cost (for HP) attempt to keep a foothold in the potentially lucrative and growing mobile market. For one thing, they'll get a lot more free input from WOSI, particularly in performance optimization and usability. I'd expect any future HP WebOS products would have a lot of WOSI tweaks.

Then there's the good chance that low-end OEMs will put out WebOS tablets in the <$200 space, keeping some market presence. Lastly, it lets the engineers in the higher end OEMs experiment with WebOS on on existing hardware without the need for a licensing agreement, essentially making it possible for the engineers to produce working demo units without going through lots of management hurdles.
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Old 12/24/2011, 03:23 AM   #30 (permalink)
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As to the main thread question... Perhaps, if we looked at the flip-side and asked what's in it for Google to develop android open source? [five years ago]... And now we would have an answer, just by thinking about it... Mainly what every free technology's selling point is...traffic bc traffic=hype=development=more traffic=some really nice advertising profit [down the road] regardless of market [now].

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Old 12/24/2011, 03:32 AM   #31 (permalink)
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As to the main thread question... Perhaps, if we looked at the flip-side and asked what's in it for Google to develop android open source? [...] some really nice advertising profit [down the road] regardless of market [now].
The difference being, Google has been in the advertising business from the beginning, HP never was and I do not think it is their strategic direction.

So, if it's not ads, what's in it for HP?

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Old 12/24/2011, 02:58 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Well right now market sales $; later on advertising $.
I think that worrying about HP is kind of funny though; Soon you'll only worry when they will drop their newest source codes.

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Old 12/24/2011, 03:29 PM   #33 (permalink)
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The difference being, Google has been in the advertising business from the beginning, HP never was and I do not think it is their strategic direction.

So, if it's not ads, what's in it for HP?

Max
HP seemingly have no sane strategic direction or we wouldnt be in this mess
with the CEO/Shareholders/Board it sounds like: too many cooks, spoil the broth, etc etc or in this case spoil the big picture/plan/direction.
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Old 12/24/2011, 07:24 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Well right now market sales $; later on advertising $.
I think that worrying about HP is kind of funny though; Soon you'll only worry when they will drop their newest source codes.

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We're worrying about HP not because we care about HP but because if HP doesn't make money off webOS what would be the motivation in keeping it? Unless I see some way to leverage webOS for a PROFIT I think its gonna be shut down completely in a year or two.
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Old 12/24/2011, 08:00 PM   #35 (permalink)
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We're worrying about HP not because we care about HP but because if HP doesn't make money off webOS what would be the motivation in keeping it? Unless I see some way to leverage webOS for a PROFIT I think its gonna be shut down completely in a year or two.
they can profit by keeping the app catalogue in a similar form to now gettign a small cut here and there, others get to work on updating "their" operating system.

Also as they still hold a world of smartphone related patents to throw in other peoples faces just before bottling them in the back of the head with a patent/lawsuit war they provide some security for any device manufacturer that wishes to adopt webOS to their devices.

Tbg instead of raw cash this is what they need, love and adoration from the public and manufacturers, if they dont make a colossal mistake both can be nurtured in time, even the patent thing should be useful to smaller companies that dont hold a heap of patents to protect themselves, they can just rely on HP's patent holdings to protect their own webOS based products, like some form of surrogate patent holder.

Who knows tho, they have a lot of damage control to undertake, makign webOS opensource has potentially fixed some damage within the webOS community, now they have to do the same for device manufacturers.
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Old 12/26/2011, 12:10 AM   #36 (permalink)
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How does webOS tablet version relate to printers? Isn't the webOS we know and love a curtain of apps built over a Ubuntu linux core so as to run a tablet/phone system? HP may have more use for such technology now in their enterprise line or even in the small laptop to provide a quick web browser as in my HPdm-4010us (built mid 2011) which comes with a dual boot linux system. HP advertised this machine as having webOS as well as windows7- one of the reasons I bought it. The Quick Web linux operating system software version is stated to be 3.1 build 9791 and some 24 open source licenses including Fedora are listed.So far there is no connection to any of my touchpad apps. Versions of HPQuickWeb before Version 3.0 predate HP purchase of Palm and are apparently different. As described by HP the previous versions have a lot more apps than the current version. My unit has Amd processors -the current HPQW is not used with Intel processor. Two points- HP can be very loose in what they call webOS and what effort they do put in may not help the Touchpad much.
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Old 12/26/2011, 05:42 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Isn't the webOS we know and love a curtain of apps built over a Ubuntu linux core so as to run a tablet/phone system?
webOS has nothing to do with Ubuntu, outside of both of them sharing Linux underpinnings.
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Old 12/26/2011, 11:48 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Thanks for straightening me out. I note from Wiki that an attempt to port Ubuntu to the TP has been made. Still would like to know what is in TP webOS that is so original that it can't come from somewhere else.
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Old 12/27/2011, 01:13 PM   #39 (permalink)
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How does webOS tablet version relate to printers?
Good question, but we don't really know. My personal suspicion is that the HP embedded system team who supports the commercial-grade HP printers are good at functionality but less so at pretty UI, and grabbed onto WebOS with a vengeance. Odds are the embedded Linux they use isn't overly customized and the print engine was easily ported to the WebOS variant of Linux. Add a couple of control-widget apps and a service or two to WebOS and you have the prettiest, most user-friendly industrial printer UI ever. If they went with a fully native app for the core printing interface and made it a priority process, responsiveness would stay pretty good.

I'd imagine they figured out some way to write an ePrint synergy connector and leveraged the existing mail application's ability to talk to almost anything to support email-to-print. Adding an FTP server is pretty much trivial, and since the WebOS GUI is itself a web server, that covers the typical status indicator system.

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Isn't the webOS we know and love a curtain of apps built over a Ubuntu linux core so as to run a tablet/phone system?
Linux is, when you get down to it, just the kernel, the main chunk of code between the hardware and the applications that has all the drivers and libraries. On it's own the Linux kernel can't do much of anything but the flip side is that without the kernel you can't even load an app from disk.

The whole OS "package" comes down to what services/libraries you bundle with it, how you structure the libraries, your distribution/update mechanism, and the default apps. Richard Stallman tends to throw a hissy fit over people not calling it GNU/Linux but since there are several Linux variants out there that aren't particularly dependent on the GNU tools, he needs to get over it.

WebOS is as much a flavor of Linux as Ubuntu. Moreso, really. WebOS has many extra bits of 'special sauce' than Ubuntu. Ignoring the phone/SMS components, the biggest is the GUI component. Most Linux flavors rely on XWindows for the graphical part and GTK or Qt for the UI part with the kernel executing the binaries.

WebOS uses something akin to a web browser for the graphical display component and HTML/Javascript/CSS/SQL in an HMTL5-ish fashion for both UI and application execution. So-called "native apps" or "hybrid apps" include some binary components that are executed by the kernel. Kernel execution is much faster than scripts that have to go through a parser and, especially on multi-CPU devices like the Touchpad, don't have to queue up with the graphic rendering part of the browser/parser.

Thanks to thinks like Xecutah and the GTK port, it is possible to run quite a large part of the Linux-compatible applications on WebOS. There are some limitations, such as the application being compiled for an ARM-based CPU, not being dependent upon some external library or app that can't be redistributed/recompiled, fitting into the available RAM/storage, and, of course, being able to operate via touch screen.

It's amazing how much software doesn't work if you can't left-click or even right click easily. The bigger issue is that most Linux software just isn't set up for such a tiny screen and tends to look totally horrible.
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Old 12/28/2011, 01:38 AM   #40 (permalink)
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but I can't imagine that being a good business model.
well hp has had some bad business models for a while so there's a chance it is a bad business model.
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