LG releases webOS as open source again

Pretty big news out of LG – they’re releasing their variant of webOS – the TV and smartwatch one – as open source.

webOS is a web-centric and usability-focused software platform for smart devices. The operating system has constantly evolved, passing through its journey from Palm to HP, and most recently to LG Electronics. Now, we are releasing webOS as an open source project, named webOS Open Source Edition (OSE).

This marks the second time webOS has been released as open source. It’s released under the Apache License, version 2, and there’s instructions for getting it to run on a Raspberry Pi 3.

We are a truly open project. You will see us working in the open like any community member, so you can see what we’re doing in real time. We operate using typical open practices: the Project uses the Apache 2.0 license, is hosted on GitHub, and accepts contributions via a Contributor License Agreement (CLA) approach. As the community grows and individuals and organizations emerge who make significant contributions, it is our intention to invite them into the governance of the Project.

It seems like a truly open project, but at the same time, one has to wonder what this means for webOS’ commercial future at LG. The cold and harsh truth is that moves like this generally mean the end of commercial viability, not the beginning. This isn’t necessarily a problem though – at least this move ensures the code and operating system will continue to exist.


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