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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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
Red Hat Enterprise Linux - The Original Cloud Operating System
Linux adoption is growing against a number of measures, such as the
number of supercomputers that run Linux and the size of the contributing...
- What Datapipe customers need to know about the new PCI DSS 3.0 compliance standard This handy quick reference outlines what PCI DSS 3.0 is, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the new...
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Partners in Mobile Device Management: AirWatch & CDW When it comes to Mobile Device Management, it's not just what you know. It's who you know. That's why CDW partners with industry...
- Four Myths of High-Productivity App Dev Debunked Debunk the main myths surrounding high-productivity application development and how both platforms have overcome them.
- Redefine Your IT Operations: Remote Office IT Has Never Been Simpler Join us to see why PC Pro named Dell PowerEdge VRTX the "2013 Server of the Year." PowerEdge VRTX may be just what... All Operating Systems White Papers | Webcasts