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PreCentral: What mobile devices might support Open webOS? Think Nexus, think N9

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What mobile devices might support Open webOS? Think Nexus, think N9

So with today's news that HP's not going to make Open webOS compatible with existing webOS devices, what devices can we expect to get support? As they said in their announcement today, HP is "aiming for support on future hardware platforms" with support for the Linux Standard Kernel 3.3 and a full complement of compatible open source drivers. The key word in their statement is 'future', and right now the answer as to which devices currently fit that mold is… none.

The Linux Standard Kernel 3.3 is relatively new and no devices have yet been certified for 3.3. Right now, all Android OEMs are on version 3.1, despite the fact that version 3.3 has support for ARM processors going all the way back to Cortex-A8 (the original Palm Pre ran one of TI's ARM Cortex-A8 processors). Future devices will no doubt eventually have the kernel module (a closed-source bit for the processor) to support 3.3, but right now there aren't any that do and we don't know when that will happen.

Historically speaking, Texas Instruments and Intel have been very good about providing documentation, adopting the latest Linux standards, and being general good supporters of the open source community. Qualcomm, Samsung, Nvidia, and the rest… not so much. Narrowing down our options [note: this is not a suggested purchases list, we don't recommend you buy a device on the chance that it might someday run Open webOS] to the most likely candidates among currently available devices are two: the Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the Nokia N9 running Meego.

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