HP to offer webOS as open-source software

PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) ? Technology company Hewlett-Packard says it’s making its webOS mobile software available as open-source software that any developer can use and modify freely.

HP said Friday that it still plans to develop and support webOS. It hopes that by offering it to the open-source community, more mobile apps will be developed.

HP snagged webOS when it bought flailing smartphone pioneer Palm Inc. in 2010. The software’s future has been uncertain since August, when HP said it would stop making tablet computers and smartphones.

WebOS ran on several smartphones, and in July HP released a tablet called the TouchPad that also ran it. But the devices never caught on with consumers, many of whom were more enticed by Apple Inc.’s iPhone and iPad and smartphones running Google Inc.’s Android software.