Since Hewlett-Packard announced its decision to open source WebOS, the tech community has been speculating about the implications of this news. CNET blogger Roger Cheng believes WebOS is doomed to fail, while ZDNet blogger David Gerwitz thinks WebOS has legs because people fear Google.

ZDNet Editor in Chief Larry Dignan says this change could cause some disruption in the smartphone industry. These are three of the key areas Larry states are worth pondering:

  • The impact on Android. Android is the king of mobile as well as open source operating systems. However, carriers and smartphone makers want to diversify away from Android as well as Apple’s iOS. WebOS could be a nice diversification tool that could splinter Android support. The other reality: The WebOS UI is better than Android’s, but Google’s platform has the apps.
  • Open source developers. WebOS will be a new toy and will initially garner interest. One interesting thought is that Android and WebOS code could ultimately merge into either a frankenOS or a threat to Apple’s iOS.
  • Developers. If the WebOS platform gains traction developers could have one more avenue to monetize applications. Diversification could be a boon.

What do you think HP’s WebOS plan might mean for the mobile development industry? Let us know.

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