LG acquires webOS from HP, plans to use it on smart TVs [UPDATED]Alex Wagner - Editorial Director of News and Content
It looks like webOS is making yet another big move. After spending some time at HP in recent years, LG says that it's purchased webOS from HP and that it plans to use the platform on its smart TVs. Unfortunately for fans of webOS on smartphones, LG tells CNET that it doesn't have any plans to use the card-based OS on new handsets, as Android is currently its mobile platform of choice.
While it's not yet known exactly what LG ponied up in order to acquire webOS from HP, we do know that LG will be gaining ownership of the webOS source code, documentation and several other important parts of the OS. LG will also gain control of the patents that HP acquired from Palm back in the day.
HP originally acquired Palm and webOS back in early 2010, and after releasing products like the Veer and TouchPad, decided to "discontinue operations" on webOS hardware in late 2011. While webOS was often praised for its design and card-focused multitasking interface, the platform was never able to gain much traction with consumers. Now it looks like webOS is destined for bigger displays than it's ever appeared on before, and while I'm sure that there are many webOS fans that are disappointed by today's news, it'll be interesting to see what LG does with the platform on its televisions. How many of you have used a webOS-based product before? If so, did you enjoy the newly-LG-owned OS?
UPDATE: LG confirmed its webOS deal to The Verge, though some parts of the deal are different than originally reported. LG will be acquiring the source code, documentation and team behind webOS while HP will hold onto cloud services such as the App Catalog and updates system. HP will also hold on to the Palm and webOS patents, but it will license them to LG. LG has also said that it'll contribute to the work on Open webOS. Speaking about its plans for webOS, LG said that it intends to use the platform on smart TVs in the near future, but that it'll "consider an extension to other devices" in the future. Sounds like we shouldn't give up all hope for new mobile webOS hardware quite yet.
UPDATE 2: HP has issued a press release officially announcing LG's acquisition of webOS. As has been noted before, LG will gain the source code, documentation, engineering talent and websites for webOS, and LG will also oversee Open webOS and Enyo development. HP will be holding on to the patents it acquired when it bought Palm, but LG will be licensing them from HP. HP will also still own the cloud computing assets that it got from Palm, and HP says that it'll continue to support Palm users. Finally, while the exact terms of the deal aren't being disclosed, neither company expects it to have a material impact on their financials.