WebOS 2.0: The second coming of WebOS
When Palm unveiled the WebOS for the first time, it was hailed by many as a true competitor to the iOS. However WebOS lost its way with Palm and the HP acquisition of its parent. The WebOS, incredible as it was, was thought to be done and dusted with.For HP, acquisition of Palm as to accelerate their position in mobile phone space, but it was also about webOS. Now, when HP is seriously mulling smartphone options, it has started resuscitating the WebOS from the dead. Call it WebOS 2.0 if you have to, but knowing Palm’s smartphone penchant, there is some promise the WebOS holds which could possibly be just enough to give HP the toe hold in the smartphone melee.
We already have a trend of web and HTML5 really beginning to become a first-class app development and distribution platform – as evidenced by even Microsoft’s new and surprising support for HTML5 standards. Microsoft stunned a few industry watchers by its support for HTML 5 on its IE9. Palm with its nativity in the web and client oriented technology Now, HP is looking to drive WebOS across to lots of form factors and devices to fill the gap between the smartphone and the PC. The blogs are already abuzz with a Palm 4” smartphone concept. HP is also talking about tablets, new phones, and “really interesting new form factors” in 2011 which would then give the WebOS a decent shot at stardom. WebOS and innovative form factor devices: a Potent Combo. According to HP that is not all and HP is fortifying product proposition with the following additions:
1. HP is also hinting at using flexible display technology (refer to FOLEDs) as an important ally. We already have hints from Sony, Samsung and Apple who are already working in the direction of flexible displays.
Video demonstration of HP Flexible Display technology
2. Palm’s online, drag-n-drop development Ares system is a versatile set of integrated mobile development tools hosted entirely in the browser. The Ares features a drag-and-drop interface builder, a robust code editor, a visual debugger, and built-in source control integration. Ares dramatically lowers the barriers for web developers to jump into mobile development and makes building webOS apps even easier and faster than before.
3. HP is also working on application frameworks “Enyo” (Mojo as known earlier), to support apps on multiple form factors. In consonance with Ares, Enyo packs in faster performance, modern and modular design and support across a range of products and screens.
4. Palm also has started wooing developers, inviting them to work on the Enyo framework for design and creation of Apps. While the Mojo is already available,Enyo SDK access program is expected to kick of early 2011.
In over 170 countries globally, HP has atleast 10% of consumer electronics shelf space and Palm and the WebOS are going to be two critical factors that will help enhance HPs presence in the shelf space. WebOS is not only the centerpiece of HP’s mobile vision, but also enables HP to extend WebOS across more products and multiple regions.