LG buys webOS from HP for Smart TV development

26 Feb 2013
HP Touchpad

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

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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