LG buys webOS from HP for Smart TV development

webOS will live on in LG's smart TVs, now that a deal has gone through with HP for the abandoned software

26 Feb 2013
HP Touchpad

LG has secured the rights to use the webOS operating system for its upcoming smart TVs, in a deal that will see the abandoned project leave HP's control following the failure of its Touchpad tablet.

HP picked up webOS when it acquired Palm back in 2010 in a deal valued at $1.2 billion. At the time HP claimed that the software would form a core part of its future, even going so far as to promise that all future HP computers would feature a version of webOS pre-loaded alongside Microsoft Windows.

Sadly, that future would never happen. HP would launch just three webOS devices - the Pre3 smartphone, the Veer smartphone, and the TouchPad tablet before dropping the operating system altogether in a complete about-face from its position less than a month earlier.

With the TouchPad dead and the last stock sold off at bargain-basement prices, rumours pointed to HP returning to the tablet market with an Android device - confirmed this week with the unveiling of the Slate 7. WebOS, meanwhile, was relegated to an open-source project with no commercial backing - until now.

LG has confirmed that it has purchased rights to the webOS platform from HP, grabbing the source code, documentation, and even the engineering team. A release date for the first webOS TVs has not yet been provided.

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