HP sells webOS to LG for smart TVs
LG will acquire the mobile operating system's source code and engineering team
IDG News Service - Hewlett-Packard has sold some of the rights to its webOS mobile operating system to LG Electronics for use in smart TVs made by the South Korean electronics firm.
LG has agreed to acquire the source code, webOS engineering team and other assets from HP, in a deal announced Monday. LG will also license HP patents related to webOS and cloud technology, the companies said.
Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
HP acquired the mobile operating system, along with device maker Palm, in February 2010. HP used the OS on its short-lived TouchPad device, which debuted in mid-2011 then disappeared weeks later.
HP announced a new tablet, the US$169 Slate 7, on Sunday. The Slate 7 will run the Android operating system.
LG will lead the Open webOS and Enyo open-source projects as part of the deal, the company said. HP will retain ownership of all of Palm's cloud computing assets, including source code, talent, infrastructure and contracts.
HP said it will also continue to support Palm users.
LG will use the technology to expand the Web capabilities of its smart TVs, said Sam Chang, LG vice president and general manager of innovation and Smart TV, in an interview.
LG bought the webOS assets in part for the engineering team, which includes user experience engineers, he said. The webOS engineers who remained at HP -- the companies aren't saying how many there are -- are to join LG's Silicon Valley labs.
But LG was also after the webOS software itself, which was built from the ground up for the Web and has strong multitasking capabilities, Chang said. LG also likes the webOS "card" interface design, he said, which makes it easy to flip through apps on a screen.
As for how, exactly, LG plans to use webOS, Chang isn't saying. "We're looking forward to demonstrating products very quickly, but I'm not in the habit of announcing things to my competitors in advance," he said.
LG will continue to offer TVs based on Google's TV software, Chang said. "Google TV delivers a great experience for the consumer looking for a very search-based, lean forward experience," he said.
LG's Silicon Valley labs report into LG's corporate technology organization, Chang said, implying webOS could find its way into other LG products. But in the near term it's focused on TVs, he said.
The deal will allow for continued development of the webOS operating system, and will drive forward LG's efforts to bring Internet services to consumer electronics, LG said.
"This groundbreaking development demonstrates LG's commitment to investing in talent and research in Silicon Valley, one of the world's innovation hotbeds," Skott Ahn, LG's president and CTO, said in a statement. "It creates a new path for LG to offer an intuitive user experience and Internet services across a range of consumer electronics devices."
Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is email@example.com.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Omnichannel: From Buzzword to Strategy Customers demand a seamless experience across channels, especially mobile. Read this whitepaper for a research-based framework for using omnichannel for higher customer engagement.
- The 5 Big Lies About Going Mobile You've heard about the power of mobile to change your business. But have you realized your mobile potential? It's about much more than...
- Developing a Winning Mobile Strategy: Playing Offense vs Defense Don't lose time and money with a "throw an app against a wall to see if sticks" approach to mobile. You need a...
- OpenStack Hype vs. Reality: CIO Quick Pulse Open-source architecture can enable IT departments to build infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds running on standard hardware.
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Workforce Mobilization for Improved Productivity A mobility research director from Aberdeen discusses reasons for extending legacy applications to mobile devices, and an integration strategist from Attachmate shows how...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts
As emerging technologies evolve they often find an initial niche in highly specialized scenarios, or in specific industry verticals, before expanding to wider areas of applicability. Within these initial niches, the early adopters can be anything from digital enthusiasts to fashionistas, or they can be folks simply using the technology because it serves a specific need extremely well. (free registration required) more