Remember when you saved your pennies and bought that fancy couch? What was it 1998? So comfy and just perfect for watching movies or an afternoon nap. But now look at it. Two messy kids, coffee drips and disobedient cats later, it’s just not the same, so you put it out over the weekend hoping to make a couple bucks at your garage sale. Turns out nobody was willing to pay, and now that once-chic couch is sitting in your front yard with a “free” sign on it.
That’s pretty much the story of WebOS, the operating system HP bought from Palm last year ago for $1.2 billion. HP just announced that, after not being able to find a new buyer, it’s going to make WebOS open source (that’s tech-speak for “free” sign). CNET says the decision most likely signals a descent into obscurity, while the Guardian points out that it may be a win for companies like Apple and Samsung, who might like to incorporate WebOS features without having to pay for burdensome patents.