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webOS is back from the dead

The strange saga of webOS has taken another wild turn with South Korean electronics giant LG Electronics Inc. (KSC:066570) purchasing the operating system for an undisclosed price from Hewlett-Packard Comp. (HPQ).  LG says it does not plan to use the operating system in smartphones, but rather intends it to form the backbone of its Smart TV offerings.

I. A Troubled History

For a time many smartphone fans consider webOS a potential top contender, when Palm first unveiled it in January 2009.  The successor to Palm OS, webOS tapped Palm's vast experience in the mobile industry it helped create, with unique features like swipe multi-tasking, Synergy (a service merging info from multiple email accounts, etc.), a complex notifications system and more.

But Palm's mobile efforts stalled under a sluggish hardware release pace and poor marketing.  In April 2010 HP scooped up Palm for what seemed like a bargain, and many hoped that would be the start of a turnaround for the beloved, but troubled OS.

Instead, things got worse, with HP driving sales into the ground.  Still, when HP launched webOS printers and the first webOS tablet -- the TouchPad -- some hoped that the situation could improve.  Instead HP decided to pull the plug on the troubled experiment, firing most of the webOS staff and clearancing off the remaining hardware.

webOS family
HP decision to kill webOS sunk earnings. [Image Source: All About webOS]
 
New executive Meg Whitman would eventually agree to open source key parts of webOS in a move that pleased fans.  But she always stated she wanted to sell the platform if the right buyer came along.

II. LG -- WebOS is for TVs Not Phones

That buyer appears to be LG.  Skott Ahn, president and chief technology officer of LG Electronics states, "It creates a new path for LG to offer an intuitive user experience and Internet services across a range of consumer electronics devices."

LG's webOS team will constitute the webOS/Palm offices in San Jose, Calif. and Chicago, Ill. that HP had held onto.  The core team, though, will be located at the new LG Silicon Valley Lab, with its Sunnyvale, Calif. and San Francisco, Calif. locations.

It is unclear how many veterans LG will be able to hang onto.  Reportedly, a number of employees jumped ship when the decision to use webOS to move towards smart televisions was announced.

Palm RIP
WebOS is back from the dead.

The team will continue to support HP and the former Palm's various webOS products, so the team will hang on to some of its traditional phone responsibilities.  But LG made it clear that it is firmly committed to Android on the phone/tablet front, and will not be considering webOS for mobile devices.

Still the decision is a blow to Google Inc. (GOOG) who was hoping to woo LG, one of the world's top TV makers, to use Android in its Smart TVs.

At first blush WebOS on a TV seems a questionable proposition.  However, the OS did lend itself well to other embedded environments -- namely HP's smart printers.  So perhaps with some TLC webOS may live again in a very different form.

Source: CNET



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LG Buys from LG
By AskTheChief on 2/25/2013 11:20:03 AM , Rating: 2
Title: LG Buys WebOS From LG for SmartTVs

Or did you mean they bought it from HP?




RE: LG Buys from LG
By zozzlhandler on 2/25/2013 11:23:35 AM , Rating: 5
Yeah, I remember when I was a young man, publications used to have thes things called "proofreaders"...


RE: LG Buys from LG
By xti on 2/25/2013 11:34:10 AM , Rating: 2
the printing press is laughing right now.


RE: LG Buys from LG
By Azethoth on 2/26/2013 5:33:25 AM , Rating: 2
As a child I touched the lead type of a printing press once.


RE: LG Buys from LG
By FITCamaro on 2/25/2013 11:40:09 AM , Rating: 2
Well when you have "Steve" from India doing the proofreading...


RE: LG Buys from LG
By JPForums on 2/25/2013 12:28:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yeah, I remember when I was a young man, publications used to have thes things called "proofreaders"...
Didn't they go exinct due to over texting.


RE: LG Buys from LG
By JasonMick (blog) on 2/25/2013 12:32:02 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
thes things called "proofreaders"

;)

Thanks for the heads up, though, it's fixed. Good catch!

My ninth grade algebra teacher used to give us extra credit points every time we caught her making a mistake. After a while she got so frustrated with everyone pointing out her mistakes, she sentenced a bunch of us to detention on one particularly bad day.

Anyhow, I won't give you detention... sadly I have no extra credit points for you either. But you have my thanks!


RE: LG Buys from LG
By theapparition on 2/25/2013 1:07:16 PM , Rating: 3
And when you were young, you had to pay for that publication.

Yes, you could also look at it for free, when you walked to your local library, uphill both ways. Point is, what you are getting here is free. If free articles with some spelling/grammar mistakes is that annoying, I'm sure you can pay for several tech based subscriptions.


RE: LG Buys from LG
By Jeffk464 on 2/25/2013 1:11:26 PM , Rating: 4
Linux is open source right? So anybody can base any linux OS on another Linux distro right? Why not just base all these TV OS's on myth TV? just add web apps for streaming netflix/amazon/hulu.


"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay














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