HP announced that the IT giant is to open source the webOS mobile operating system in a move which the firm said is an "opportunity to significantly improve applications and web services for the next generation of devices".
"WebOS is the only platform designed from the ground up to be mobile, cloud-connected and scalable," said HP chief Meg Whitman.
"By contributing this innovation, HP unleashes the creativity of the open source community to advance a new generation of applications and devices."
HP said the goals are to accelerate the open development and to provide transparent governance while the firm intends to remain an active "participant and investor" in WebOS development.
The firm also bundled off the 600 staff that were working on WebOS into a spun-off firm to focus on the development of the software. Whitman also said that the company will return to WebOS hardware but not, it seems, in 2012.
The company will, next year, focus on Windows 8 devices and come back to WebOS, possibly with a tablet, in 2013. If it hasn't gone the way of the Amiga by then.