LG buys HP's webOS to put in smart TVs

Posted by Emma Woollacott

It looks as if webOS may have a future after all, with HP selling the operating system to LG Electronics for use in smart TVs and other devices.

Developed by Palm, webOS ended up in the hands of HP after its takeover of the handheld device manufacturer in 2010. At the time, HP had high hopes for WebOS, and went on to release a tablet running it, the TouchPad, before deciding to let it slide when the tablet failed to compete effectively with the iPad.

But LG sees a future for the OS, in consumer devices including smart televisions.

"This groundbreaking development demonstrates LG’s commitment to investing in talent and research in Silicon Valley, one of the world’s innovation hotbeds. It creates a new path for LG to offer an intuitive user experience and internet services across a range of consumer electronics devices," says Skott Ahn, LG president and chief technology officer.

"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."

LG will now take over stewardship of the open source projects of Open WebOS and Enyo, and will continue to support Palm users. HP, though, will retain ownership of all of Palm’s cloud computing assets, including source code, staff, infrastructure and contracts.

"With the cloud assets that will remain with HP, we will focus on delivering innovative solutions that will enable our enterprise customers to mobilize their workforce," says HP’s chief operating officer Bill Veghte.