Electronics giant LG has bought Hewlett Packard’s webOS service for an undisclosed amount. The deal was settled shortly before Mobile World Congress started, and both company’s revealed the news at the conference.
LG has said webOS will not be running on any new phones or tablets LG produce, instead applying the service to TVs, display and hopefully, in the near future, cars. The South Korean manufacturer have plenty of reasons for buying the operating system.
One of the main reasons is webOS works with Smart TVs differently to how it works with phones, and TVs are capable of rendering and structuring HTML5 a lot better than mobiles can. This makes an optimised service for web users on Smart TVs.
Another good reason is the webOS team has a great software background; based in Silicon Valley. LG desperately want to make a standpoint on the software side of the market, but have previously had no success, with the only software developments being skins or TV user interfaces, which have both been pretty poor.
LG said that webOS’s app catalogue was not a feature that pushed them to purchase the service, neither was the established phone and tablet interface. The company has said they will keep the service open source, for third party development. All previous applications may be in need of a tune up, with the new management.
The webOS service has had an odd lifespan, starting as a project by Palm, it was quickly scooped up by HP, which, after three years of being mismanaged and unused, was cancelled. After a year, HP brought the operating system back, on an open source project to get developers interested.
HP will continue to use webOS and license the rights from LG, using cloud platform control to keep their devices running. The new seven inch slate HP announced and an upcoming smartphone will have webOS running.
LG has not announced any new Smart TVs with webOS included, but have said these are coming “in the near future” and the company is excited to work with both Android and webOS, providing the best of both operating systems.