HP Spinning Off webOS Business as Gram

By CIOinsight  |  Posted 08-17-2012

When technology giant Hewlett-Packard announced it was giving away its Linux-based mobile operating platform, webOS, to the open-source community, analysts and industry experts expected that to be the death knell for the system. However, a leaked memo uncovered by webOS Nation reveals HP is planning to launch Gram, an independent company under HP's financial umbrella that will employ the webOS team that makes up the webOS Global Business Unit.

In the memo, HP chief of staff Martin Risau referred to Gram as "a new brand" that is currently in "stealth mode" and asked employees to keep the company name and product under the radar for the time being. "We are no longer a consumer hardware brand; we are a different company with focus on software, user experience, cloud, engineering and partnering," he wrote. "We are an incubation company, and we are trusting you to keep this company name and product under the radar to give it time to take root and grow. You can wear the logo, help build the momentum of the new identity, talk to your families and friends about it."

The new company's software focus is reflected in the description of the company: "Potent. Light. Nimble. At the core of things big and small," and the description of the company as leveraging webOS, HP's cloud offerings and Enyo, a framework created to support application development for the TouchPad tablet and the webOS platform, to "unleash the freedom of the Web" with the help of HP partners. "Tap your network. Help us hire the best and the brightest, refer your friends and help us in our shared purpose as we continue our rise to the top. You can use the name to help us to recruit," the memo continued. "Yes, this is a new brand it is just the beginning, and there is so much more to do. We hope you will fall in love with the brand just as lots of us have already."

The Open webOS Beta is rolling out this month, followed by Open webOS 1.0 in September, and the company is making webOS code available under the Apache License, Version 2.0. HP first announced it would make webOS an open-source project in December 2011. As part of that announcement, the company indicated that it would serve as an "investor" and work to "avoid fragmentation" of the code. In July, HP's Enyo project announced that Enyo 2 is moving out of beta and was ready for production. Enyo is an object-oriented JavaScript application framework that emphasizes modularity and encapsulation. Although it was initially conceived as a platform-independent framework, Enyo 1 targeted webOS and the TouchPad specifically.


To read the original eWeek article, click here: HP Spinning Off webOS Business to Create Gram