By Alexandra Burlacu | Feb 25, 2013 09:10 AM EST
The WebOS operating system is far from ending its tumultuous existence, as Korean electronics giant LG is reportedly scooping it up for its Smart TVs.
WebOS was developed by Palm and sold to Hewlett-Packard (HP), but the latter decided to ditch the OS and focus on more lucrative endeavors instead. Although WebOS never enjoyed much success, it seems to have more lives than a cat.
As it turns out, LG still has faith in WebOS and is purchasing the technology, along with what remains of its development team. LG, however, is acquiring the software for its television unit, not its smartphone business. Could this have a better outcome?
LG's move to acquire the WebOS operating system is just the latest twist in the software's troubled existence. WebOS is quite well-known in the mobile space, but notoriety is not always synonymous with success.
Here's the context: Palm launched its Pre and Pre 2 phones running on WebOS, but then decided to sell the software to HP for more than $1 billion. While the software was well-received at first, it slumped amid a scarcity of apps and a slow rollout of new products.
HP launched a TouchPad tablet, but eventually gave up on the business as well. In a last effort to make something out of WebOS, HP released some of the operating system last year under an open-source license, reserving the option of using the software in its own products.
Meanwhile, LG's move to purchase WebOS means that its TVs could start using the operating system, and that the company got a license from HP to use its WebOS products. LG reportedly swept up the software, the rights to the source code for WebOS, as well as all of WebOS' related websites, documentation and engineers. It remains unclear, however, how much the deal was worth.
At the same time, the purchase confirms previous rumors indicating that LG was working in WebOS-powered TVs. News of the acquisition first surfaced on Monday, Feb. 25, from CNET, but the original story is nowhere to be found now. A cached copy of the CNET article is available at this link. LG has not yet commented on the news.
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