Open WebOS: No (official) support for existing devices
HP's Open WebOS project has released further important mobile operating system components under an open source licence, including the already announced central system manager for Open WebOS (Luna), which is now based on the current QtWebKit browser. HP (Hewlett Packard) has also made available the Email, Calendar, Contacts, Memos, Accounts, Clock and Calculator apps. The project plans to release a beta version of the open source mobile operating system before the end of August, and Open WebOS 1.0 is scheduled to arrive in September.
Unlike the WebOS 3.0.5 Community Edition that was released in June, Open WebOS 1.0 will require Linux Kernel "3.3+", the developers said in their blog posting. They explained that existing Pre, Pre2, Pre3, Veer and TouchPad devices are not compatible with this kernel, and that they are therefore unsuitable for Open WebOS: "Existing devices cannot be supported because of those many proprietary components, including graphics, networking and lack of drivers for a modern kernel." TouchPad users are being referred to the WebOS Community Edition in what is being seen as another blow for the remaining supporters of the former Palm operating system.
Meanwhile, the WebOS Nation web site is speculating about which devices with Linux Kernel "3.3+" support could be suitable for Open WebOS. According to the site, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the Nokia N9 are viable contenders. However, other devices that may lack official open source drivers but which have been equipped with alternative drivers for custom Android ROMs (for example by the CyanogenMod project) are also generally suitable. WebOS Internals founder Rod Whitby, on the other hand, has shown a suspicious level of interest for Google's Nexus 7 in the past few weeks.
There may still be a glimmer of hope even for the last owners of "existing" WebOS devices: A well-known kernel developer is looking for volunteers to help him port the kernel to Pre3 and TouchPad devices. Another group of developers, aptly named Phoenix International Communications, Inc, has announced on its Facebook page that it plans to make Open WebOS operable even on the old devices. When asked about its plan for obtaining the missing drivers, the group answered: "everything will be revealed shortly".