LG buys webOS from HP for smart TVs

26 Feb 2013
webOS on HP tablet

LG picks up webOS, but isn't planning to use it on smartphones

LG has confirmed that it's bought webOS from HP to be used in smart TVs.

The mobile OS was created by Palm, which was subsequently bought by HP. After its webOS-based TouchPad failed, HP spun out the OS to the open source community.

After reports suggested the move yesterday, LG and HP have now confirmed the deal, but they're yet to reveal any terms.

Skott Ahn, president and CTO of LG, said the webOS will initially be used in smart TVs, "and then hopefully all the other devices in the future," according to Reuters.

Under the agreement LG will receive the source code, documentation, websites and engineering staff currently running webOS. However, the deal appears to have more to do with patents. LG will also get the patents surrounding the OS and interfaces that HP picked up when it bought Palm and license IP from HP for use with webOS products.

"As we looked at it, we saw a compelling IP that was very unique in the marketplace," HP's COO Bill Veghte told Reuters. "As a result of this collaboration, LG offered to acquire the webOS operating system technology."

It's unclear how such a deal would work with the software released to the open source community, but HP had released only parts of the OS and held back the rights to use it on its own products, according to All Things Digital.

LG will take over "stewardship" of the open source Open webOS and Enyo projects, but HP will keep Palm's cloud computing systems and continue to offer support to Palm users.

"It creates a new path for LG to offer an intuitive user experience and internet services across a range of consumer electronics devices," said LG's Ahn. "The open and transparent webOS technology offers a compelling user experience that, when combined with our own technology, will pave the way for future innovations using the latest web technologies."

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