It's been an emotional journey for fans of webOS, but there was a glimmer of hope for those who owned the Palm Pre, Palm Pixi, or HP Veer in the form of Open webOS. That promise disappears today, however: Open webOS' July update contains the disappointing news that existing hardware will not be supported by the open source OS.
"For open webOS we are aiming for support on future hardware platforms where SoC’s support Linux 3.3+ kernel and where open source replacements for proprietary components are integrated. Existing devices cannot be supported because of those many proprietary components, including graphics, networking and lack of drivers for a modern kernel."
We suspected that this would be the case: while HP turned webOS over to the open source community, the company does not own the intellectual property rights for the drivers that control the radios, graphics, and other components that power devices like the Palm Pre, and therefore has no right to release their source code. The hacker-friendly HP TouchPad will also be left out in the cold by Open webOS and HP, but it still has a some future in the form of webOS Community Edition.
Other than the bad news, the status report reveals that the system manager and core apps have been released. The apps — including Email, Calendar, and Contacts — do not yet include support for Synergy or services like Google, Yahoo, or Exchange, according to webOS Nation. That will all have to wait until version 1.0, but enthusiasts still holding onto original webOS hardware might not care anymore.