Open webOS 1.0 was released yesterday. And no, that is not an edition you can just download and install on anything. It is for developers, not for everybody – at least not yet. This is a milestone release in the short history of Open webOS, the open source edition of what used to be webOS, the operating system for the HP Touchpad and Pre and Pixi smartphones.
While the release is very important in many ways, the most important gem from the release announcement is the video showing Open webOS running on a desktop computer. Specifically, an HP TouchSmart PC. Yes, that is an operating system that started life on mobile devices running on a desktop computer. And not just an ordinary desktop computer, but an All-in-One unit with multi-touch capability. Open webOS is going where no Linux distribution has gone before. Watch the video. I am looking forward to the day when I can just download an installation image of Open webOS and install it on my desktop computer.
When webOS was first made an Open Source project, I wrote this article about it. Responding to HP’s call for suggestions for the new Open Source project, I wrote that “it would be great if I can download and install webOS on my laptop tomorrow. Too soon? Ok, I will wait until next week. You get the picture, right?” That was in December 2011. At the rate the project is moving, I should be able to do that by early next year, provided that Mayan calendar thing does not happen.
Update: Open webOS has also been ported to Google Nexus by the webOS-Ports.org team. Watch the video.